Hazards Of Robots In Manufacturing Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

Robot Hazards
Introduction: the aim of this assignment is to gain general awareness and an understanding of the legal requirements and responsibilities that are involved in the safe working practices associated with robotic assisted manufacture. This is to be achieved by the identification of associated hazards with robotic applications and provide an understanding of how these hazards are overcome.

Typical sources of hazards associated with robotic operations within the working environment include.

· Crushing
· Shearing
· Striking
· Entrapment / entanglement
· Process hazards such as toxic fumes, welding flash, lasers, dust, coolant, high-pressure water jet, unguarded abrasive wheel etc.
· Fire – if the robot is function's by use of hydraulics

As a matter of good system design all moving parts of the robot system should by design or enclosure eliminate / minimise all possibilities of the above from happening

The source for theses types of hazards can be caused by

Unknown / unintentional or un-covenanted movements – this could be in the form of unpredictable movements whilst the equipment is being maintained or at the reinstatement of power. Other causes may be due to the corruption of software, or damage to the any of the peripherals or programmable electronics.
End effecter malfunction, which may result in a component ejection hazard, which can be due to a malfunction of the control system, or programming error.
Both of the above may occur as a result of a pneumatic or hydraulic equipment dump fault, as either may have a reservoir and could be subjected to sudden movements of one or more actuators when a jam-up is freed.
Hazards may arise from problems when interfacing with other machinery and equipment, especially if the associated machines and equipment are out of programmed sequence with that of the interfacing electronics.

The numerous safety devices that are associated with robotic operations are implemented to only allow access to the robot when the machine's movements have fully stopped and or prevent access to the machine during normal operation thus the possibility of the hazards mention above will be reduced or even eliminated. The devices used to accomplish this include:

Safety Mats
Pressure-sensitive mats and floors are devices with a sensitive upper surface so that the pressure applied by a person standing on them will cause dangerous motion to stop. Care should be taken to ensure that access couldn't be gained without actuating the mat.

Interlocks
Interlock are used to allow Access to the enclosure when the robot and associated equipment has fully and prevents it from resuming until the safeguards reinstated

Examples of interlocking devices include:
Guard-operated interlocking devices designed for use in safety systems
Key-interlocking devices (trapped key-interlocking) is a common method. In the case of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, the lock would need to be on a valve...

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