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Safety Questions

Question Asked:

In R15.06 part 2 section 4.2, item c) reads as follows: Manual intervention – the layout should be designed to allow tasks requiring manual intervention to be performed from outside the safeguarded space. Where this is not practicable and when the intervention requires powered movements of the machine(s), appropriate enabling devices shall be provided. My question is, does free-driving the robot count as powered movement with respect to the quoted section of the standard above?

4 Answers

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Johnathan Rankin - Automated Systems Specialist
Nidec Minster Corporation
johnathan [dot] rankin [at] minster.com
(419) 628-2331

Can you please further explain "Free-Driving"? Are you referring to hand guidance of the robot? Without knowing about your process, here is some very general information. If it is a collaborative robot then you have to consider the entire process. Did your risk assessment allow for manual hand guidance considering the EOAT and payload? Collaborative robots are only "collaborative" until something is attached to the flange. To remain "collaborative", the EOAT, payload and process must remain safe as defined by your risk assessment. Example: If your collaborative robot is carrying an exposed sharp edge. The process is likely no longer collaborative. If your risk assessment maintains that the process is still collaborative then you may not be required to use an enabling device. If this is a standard industrial robot then you will likely need an enabling device no matter what. Again, this all goes back to the risk assessment and what other hazards are in the process.

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

Hello Phillip, I am afraid I am unfamiliar with the term "free-driving" in relation to robot motion and am also unable to locate a definition of the term. Any time there is powered motion of the robot part 2, 4.2 c) applies. 1. The layout should allow tasks to be performed from outside the safeguarded space. This includes such things as teaching, lubrication, tool change, etc. 2. If entry is required to perform the task, robot motion should be inhibited. 3. If motion is required during intervention, as it often is for teach and attended program verification, appropriate enabling devices, e.g. teach and enabling pendants combined with limited speed motion, shall be provided. 4. High speed attended verification should be avoided, but when necessary appropriate safeguards are required. Refer to part 1, 5.7.4.

Phillip Grambo - Mechanical Engineer II Robotics
US Postal Service
phillip [dot] g.grambo [at] usps.gov
(703) 280-7946

I have a UR10, and from the manual, they describe freedrive as: 12.1.5 Freedrive While the Freedrive button is held down, it is possible to physically grab the robot arm and pull it to where you want it to be. https://automationdistribution.com/content/Universal-Robots-UR10-User-Manual.pdf I believe this is a UR term that just means hand guiding. I am thinking of a material handling operation where there may be a jam in the EOAT and an operator may have to intervene to clear a jam, and in order to do so they may have to move the end effector. I hope this provides some clarification to my question?

Miranda Woods - Marketing Event Coordinator
TUV Rheinland
mwoods [at] us [dot] tuv.com
(847) 208-4328

Hello! Thank you for submitting a question to RIA. Our experts at TUV Rheinland would love to assist you. Would you like to set up a call? If so, please reply with your contact info and I will set you up with one of our experts! Thank you!

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