Author(s): Hamilton A, Webb P
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The ever increasing demand to improve efficiency, raise pro-duction rates and reduce costs, whilst maintaining or improving quality, is driving the need for the automation of many manufacturing processes. Traditionally speaking, the default control measure for the risk manage-ment of automation in manufacturing has been the use of physical guards. Robot cell installations with physical guards can be difficult to deploy on some manufacturing assembly line. Given that these physical safeguard-ing measures separate the human operator from the moving robot, the work performed by robots is effectively detached from that performed by human operators. This can be a limitation on some flow lines where the human tasks cannot be completely separated from those of the robot. From a safety perspective, physical guards do not completely mitigate against the risk of injury due to a human trespassing the guarded area with the locks and interlocks engaged, or deliberately limiting their effec-tiveness through local process modifications.
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This article was published in Safety-Critical Systems Symposium
and referenced in Advances in Robotics & Automation