Functional Safety and Advanced Manufacturing with Collaborative Robots

With COVID-19 restricting workforces across the country, Senior Consultant, Robert Migliaccio addresses some of the technological advances we may start to see across the engineering industry. 

The industrial working environment within manufacturing is seeing a large growth in technological advances which is promising to set new trends within processes and organisations.

Digitalisation and automation learning have transformed the way humans and machines interact. Robots once a feature of a science fiction film are being utilised in innovative solutions to deliver productivity advantages.

There is speculation within industry that the COVID-19 crisis is set to spark innovation within key sectors such as the food sector to minimise future risk. COVID-19 could well be the catalyst for the increased use and development of collaborative robots.

Functional safety device development has responded to this growth with more and more new safety devices being developed with more focus on the capability of the product to perform safely. It is well known that traditional safety assessments which deal with potential hazards from electrical, mechanical and other design aspects do not support all new robot applications.

Hazard identification can be challenging, and risk reduction is often a debate of balancing risk against what is reasonably practicable using engineering risk reduction measures.  The evolution of robotic applications is in a state of flux and is set to evolve further. The development of new mobile robots has magnified these challenges.

Finch are here to share our experience and knowledge to help businesses develop new designs and guidance for future generations.

Typical Manufacturing Robots can be categorised into four main applications. Collaborative robots featured in points 3 and 4 below are two common utilisation examples. Finch are working with both clients and robot standards committees to help develop state of the art designs and best practice guidance for industry including the category depicted in point 4.

Whether you are a manufacturer, integrator or end user of collaborative robots, Finch can offer advice, guidance and design review to help you comply with relevant machinery safety standards and legislation.

Robot Applications