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Material Handling Questions

Question Asked:

In our facility we have a robot cell used to load/unload machining centers. We currently use a "disable movement" key switch along with interlocked gates to enter the robot cell. That process is usually done by the single worker responsible for the area. We feel that multi-person access is unsafe using the single person procedure. What are some ways to allow for safer multi-person access?

3 Answers

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  • = Answered Questions

Ben Sagan - Business Development Manager - Robotics
Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.
ben [dot] sagan [at] meau.com
(847) 478-2220

Add a multi-lock tab the gate. issue each authorized employee a lock with their name on the lock. Then as each person enters the cell they place their lock on the gate prohibiting the gate from closing until all persons are out of the cell and they remove their lock.

Dan Junker - President and Chief Ranger
Automation Rangers, Inc.
danj [at] automationrangers [dot] com
(513) 371-9494

The problem with having a worker with a Teach Pendant is that motion can occur that impacts a fellow worker. Trap Key is a good solution, but another possibly better solution is using enabling switches for each worker that way if one sees a threat they can simply disengage. There is also a cableless control solution for enabling pendants. Call if you want to discuss. Dan - 513-371-9494

Troy Denning - Owner
Design for Making
td [at] designformaking [dot] com

Area scanners within the cell to detect people inside is a good option, but expensive. I have also seen what they call a double touch reactivation. where there is a button inside of the cell that the operator uses immediately before exiting basically signifying that the cell is clear. then there is another button on the outside that the operator presses to tell the machinery to start up again. If you would like to call and discuss it more you can get a hold of me at 208-589-4615.

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