Robots continue to find their way into our precision machining shops as we move away from departments of similar machines as a business model.

Savvy shops today are creating cells that use the robot to efficiently transfer work from one type of machine to another.

Robots can also deburr, pick and pack or present to inspection equipment.

As robots become more common in our operations, we need to assure that we are up to date on safety practices and procedures for our employees who are now sharing the same  shop floor work environment with our robots.

Chapter 4 of the OSHA Technical Manual is a “must understand” reference for shops with Robots. You can get it at the link below for free:

Industrial Robots and Robot System Safety

This is a comprehensive resource covering an introduction to robotics, types of robotic systems etc.

I believe that you will get your greatest takeaway in the sections covering hazards and control and safeguarding personnel.

Also you need to be aware of the ANSI RIA 15.06 Standard.

The current US robot standard is the 1999 version of R15.06 which was reaffirmed in 2009.

You can buy it from ANSI here. (cost $45.00)

This standard is currently being updated, with a major focus on risk assessment.

ANSI/RIA R15.06 will combine the ISO 10218-1 standard  ( cost: 146 Swiss francs) which applies just to the robot, with ISO 10218-2 (cost 184 Swiss francs) which covers the integration of the robot into your systems. While these have been finalized by ISO, the final adoption into ANSI RIA 15.06 has not yet taken place. The updated  ANSI/RIA R15.06 standard will include both of these as well as some additional USA requirements. The Canadian standard Z434 committee is also at work on the national adoption of these ISO standards. We have our fingers crossed that the U.S. and  Canadian robot standards will be harmonized.

While we’re waiting for the updated ANSI/RIA R15.06 to be published, you probably ought to make sure that your team is up to speed on the OSHA material mentioned above.

And for $45 the current (2009) version of ANSI R15.06 is worth your time and monies to obtain.

Just remember that when the update is released, it will be best practice and authoritative.

Want more info? Siemens is sponsoring a webinar on April 25, 2012 at 2:00 P.M. Eastern time.

Here’s a link: Siemens Industry Robotics Changes Webinar

PMPA is not a sponsor of this webinar.

But we are committed to giving our members tools they can use to keep their shops safe, competitive, and sustainable.