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Simple Safety Measure for Movable Robots | USA

Prevent accidents around movable robots that change depending on the situation

Safety measures for movable robots are complicated

Manufacturers of pioneering automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have been focusing on developing multifunctional products that can enable the automation of tasks such as freight loading and unloading that had previously been performed with human intervention by equipping AGVs with robot arms in order to meet the ever-increasing automation needs of their customers. However, design personnel who are considering how to equip AGVs with robots certainly face a great challenge in also providing proper safety measures. As the safety standards required for AGVs are different from those required for robots, this creates an issue in that you must research them separately and then decide which one is best. In many industries, the safety standards based on AGV regulations are old and require the creation of new standards. For these reasons, one great concern is just what level of safety measures is appropriate and feasible in response to the requirement of, "We want you to perform thorough risk assessment before delivery of the product" as expressed by manufacturers to whom you want to propose AGV development equipped with robots and the corresponding end users.

Proper safety measures respectively for when robots are operating and when moving

IDEC, your safety professionals, can provide you with a consultation regarding equipment safety design. Feel free to consult with us if you have any concerns or questions about risk management.

In the case described here, it is necessary to apply measures by considering risks divided by their corresponding conditions. First, dangerous areas are present in all directions while the robot performs work with the AGV stopped, making it necessary to detect nearby persons all across 360°. IDEC's SE2L Safety Laser Scanners can perform detection in a 360° range if, for example, you equip one unit each in two locations on a diagonal line, such as right front to left rear, on the sides of the AGV. (Although a single scanner unit has a maximum detection angle of 270°, use of the industry's first master-slave function enables the automatic integration of multiple inputs and outputs in order to avoid any interference and reduce the amount of wiring.)

It is also necessary to limit the scanner detection range while moving as an AGV, as the area in front of the AGV in the movement direction is the dangerous area, it is only necessary to detect objects interfering in this direction. As you can set multiple protective areas for this product, it is easy to switch the detection area according to which direction the AGV is moving in.

You can also divide detection ranges so that the robot slows down and issues an audible warning when a person is in the distance, and then stops if that person gets any closer in order to provide efficient operation and enable collaborative work between humans and robots.

Equipping with SE2L Safety Laser Scanners is a simple way to provide safety measures for movable robots that are thought to be difficult to achieve. The SE2Lis the industry's smallest class of safety laser scanners it is an optimal scanner for achieving compact AGV design because it also eliminates concerns regarding installation locations.

IDEC offers a complete product lineup that are optimal for various types of AGV design

In addition to safety laser scanners, IDEC provides numerous products that contribute to providing AGVs with high added value. For example, the HG1G Programmable Operator Interface is equipped with a 4.3-inch small display while also having an FTP server function capable of sending and receiving files via a server. Simply connect with a network to enable remote maintenance and screen refreshing in order to contribute to efficiency at production sites. IDEC also offers a complete lineup of switches including operating switches, emergency stop switches, and illuminated buzzers in various sizes and designs for all kinds of applications. IDEC has an optimum solution to match your needs.