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MEK Consulting provides robotic automation project management services and robotic risk assessment writing services to manufacturers who do not have engineering staff to accomplish the task. MEK Consulting also functions and an auditor for the RIA Certified Robot Integrator program. MEK Consulting now offers Machine Safety and NFPA 70E Arc Flash training. We can also conduct Machine safety and NFPA 70E Arc Flash assessments for your company.

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When calculating safe distance for a scanner or light curtain used for perimeter guarding of a robot, does one measure outward from the edge of the maximum operating envelope of the robot or the edge of the restricted envelope established by software?


Neither. You should measure from what you consider the hazard to be. Most people consider this to be the end effector and product being handled.


Mike Kunkle - President/Principal Consultant
mekconsulting@comcast.net
(717) 578-9875

What is the minimum height of the guarding around a robot cell


In the US and most of the world it is 7 inches maximum from the standing adjacent surface to the bottom of the perimeter guarding and 55 inches minimum from the standing adjacent surface to the top of the perimeter. The top may be required to be substantially higher dependent on how high the robot goes with product in it's EAOT.

In Canada the maximum dimension is 6 inches and the minimum height is 72 inches. If you follow the Canadian dimensions for your perimeter guarding iy will be goo for any place you may sell a system.


Mike Kunkle - President/Principal Consultant
mekconsulting@comcast.net
(717) 578-9875

I am starting work on my first collaborative robot system and need to do the risk assessment. Is the risk assessment for a collaborative system still the task based risk assessment that I have done many times in the past or doe the risk assessment for a collaborative robot system need to be done in a different way?


Yes. The risk assessment should still be task based. Follow the methodology in RIA TR R15.306-2016 and RIA TR R15.606-2016. Your hazard list will definitely contain some hazards which will require some force testing.


Mike Kunkle - President/Principal Consultant
mekconsulting@comcast.net
(717) 578-9875

Is the risk assessment for a collaborative robot completed as a task based risk assessment the same way as any other robot? Or are there different rules that need to be followed?


Yes. The risk assessment should be task-based and still follow the RIA TR R15.306-2016 methodology. Although the hazards you assess may have added hazards, which could be obtained from RIA TR R15.606 2016 and if it is being conducted on a power and force limited robot system. force testing results should be reflected in the risk assessment.


Mike Kunkle - President/Principal Consultant
mekconsulting@comcast.net
(717) 578-9875