Humans and robots interact and share work spaces to increase companies’ productivity and spare employees for physical burdens and allows them to focus on non-repetitive tasks instead. However, unless safety regulation becomes easy to access, understand and apply, it can become a barrier to the increased deployment of collaborative robots that industries across many domains demand.
Therefore, five Research and Technology Organizations across Europe have teamed up in a new initiative funded by the EU called COVR, which is a pan-European strategic effort to break down barriers around collaborative robot safety.
It requires a lot more than just to take the robot out of the box and place it in the production when it comes to collaborative robots. Lars Hyldal, who is an automation specialist at the global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, concurs.
- Collaborative robots provide new and exciting possibilities for our employees, but the collaboration also places a lot of demands on safety and procedures. It is very important to get an overview of the guidelines, Lars Hyldal says.
Like other people, Lars Hyldal experiences challenges with implementing the collaborative robots.
- We are working on two fronts when it comes to safety certification of collborative robots. First of all we don’t have any standards to work on the basis of but only recommendations such as ISO/TS 15066, he says and adds:
- Second of all, we need to know how to deal with the CE-marking when you are working with a flexible setup like ours. We are operating with an open platform, where the robot performs one task today and another one tomorrow. My wish is to make a general CE-marking that can cover current and future applications.
To overcome these challenges Lars Hyldal has among other things received assistance from the Danish Technological Institute.