Curtains of light and other safety devices for robotic workcells
Robotic workcells, just like any other system, need safety measures to keep workers out of the robot’s area during operation. Many workcells use safety light curtains to perform this task.
Safety light curtains are optical electronic devices are a form of machine guarding that can be used instead of using physical barriers. These curtains are made from beams of light that are sequenced and pulsed across an area from a transmitter to a receiver.
Robotic workcells use these presence detection devices to ensure that nothing gets close enough to the robot to be harmed during the running of a cycle. If something crosses that barrier during the robot workcell’s operation, the operation will stop to safeguard workers.
Along with light curtains, robot workcells can also use safety mats that are pressure sensitive to guard an area. If something steps on these mats during operation, it can cause the application to pause as well, keeping the worker out of harm’s way.
There are also physical barriers like interlocking doors that will slide down when a robotic workcell is operational, not allowing anyone into the workcell during the cycle. These doors then slide open when the operation is finished so that workers or other robots can collect the parts and send them on to other parts of the line.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator of robotic workcells for many companies, including Motoman, FANUC, ABB, and KUKA, has many options available for your automation process. RobotWorx even has its own grouping of robotic workcells for customers to consider.
Each workcell comes with one or more robots, a positioner and a safety package, along with extras like a welding package or other end-of-arm-tooling, depending on what features the customer requests.