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Safety Questions

Question Asked:

I have a robot which will perform welding on a metal part. Parts are loaded by hand onto a carousel which then shuttles the part into the robot operating area and places a solid steel partition between the robot and loader. It is in an enclosure that it accessed for routine maintenance and setup (i.e. changing weld tips or wire) by an interlocked door permitting someone to enter the enclosure to perform these functions. The interlock stops all hazardous movement when the door is opened. The enclosure is not overly large but large enough that someone could stand inside and have the door closed behind them. Is there are requirement that personnel must be detected in this space to prevent the door being closed behind them? If so, can you please provide a reference to this in the standard? Does it make a difference is one can see someone inside (even if it is only from the sides of the enclosure)?

3 Answers

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Chris Scott - Controls Integration Manager
Lincoln Electric, Automation Division
christopher_scott [at] lincolnelectric [dot] com
(423) 643-2406

RIA R15.06-2012 mentions this in multiple sections. It states that there should be a way to lock the guard open. On almost all gate switches there should be an area where you can put a lock before you enter the system. This lock would prevent closure of the gate by someone other than the person who accessed it. Also, we usually require there be an emergency inner release button for the gate switch. In the case someone didn't lock the gate open before entering, someone inside can unlatch the door.

Lee Burk - Manager, Training & Standards
Pilz Automation Safety L.P.
l [dot] burk [at] pilzusa.com
(734) 354-0272

Sometimes the answer will be found in other standards, but in this case you will find it in R15.06, Part 2, "Personnel shall be protected from start and restart of the robot cell when they are inside the safeguarded space, in accordance with ISO 14118. Presence sensing is one method but there are others such as trapped key, locking the reset function with a personal lock, sequential reset that requires first a reset before leaving the safeguarded space, ...

Roman Huemer - International Sales Manager, Industrial Automation, Robotics
KEBA Corporation
hmer [at] keba [dot] com
(219) 299-9993

Hi Clinton, for a robot cell you have to make a complete risk and hazard analysis. The concept have to ensure that no human is inside the cell when the robot is active. It makes no difference if a second person outside can see the person inside the cell. You cannot put that responsibility on a human. We are experts for robotics safety. Please feel free to contact us for any information. Thank you! Regards, Roman https://www.keba.com/en/industrial-automation/solutions/robotics/robotics

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