Industrial robots represent an integral part of our modern working world. They increase productivity and product quality while relieving at the same time monotonous and hard physical work.
This is specified in the European harmonized standards EN ISO 10218-1 and EN ISO 10218-2. These standards apply worldwide and may be obtained from the Beuth Verlag (publishing house). Those who want to get an overview on safety requirements should refer to the publication DGUV Information 209-074 of the Berufsgenossenschaft. It can be ordered free of charge from the BGHM.
The experts of the BGHM deal with all issues concerning occupational safety and health at the design and operation of industrial robots and industrial robot systems.
The access of people to common industrial robot systems has to be prevented by means of protective fences, otherwise severe injuries may occur. The expert committee woodworking and metalworking is also involved in research projects for the development of a new robot generation which is designed for the cooperation of humans and robots, and which is called collaborative robots. Thus, workplaces can be automated which are characterized by frequently repeating monotonous tasks but which require human intervention at the same time.
For robots with force and pressure limiting, a direct cooperation of human and robot is possible, since defined force and pressure effects on the human body are not exceeded in case of contact. The force or pressure effects are naturally depending on the tool shape, the workpiece and all other devices involved in the working process. Therefore, collaborative robots should be tested and certified in combination with an exemplary application.
The Testing and Certification Body of the subcommittee provides testing and certification of collaborative robot systems. It disposes of state-of-the-art measuring systems for the determination of force and pressure. At the same time, the safety functions necessary for the robot safety, e. g. safe speed and safe position can be assessed.