Keeping It Closed – Hard Stop and Interlocking Door Safety Features

Feb 24, 2015

Any robotic work cell should be properly equipped with safety systems. For instance, the incorporation of hard stop and interlocking door safety features on your workcell will ensure that workers are kept out during operation. Contact representatives today to figure out the best safety features for integration onto your automation system.


A safe­ty inter­lock­ing sys­tem is impor­tant for any robot­ic work cell. By incor­po­rat­ing hard stop and inter­lock­ing door safe­ty fea­tures into your work cell, you are ensur­ing that no work­er is going into the robot’s area when the robot is in oper­a­tion. This, along with prop­er train­ing, will keep your work­ers safe and free from robot-relat­ed injuries.

So, what are these fea­tures? A hard stop fea­ture is made up of a zone ring and two zone switch­es. This zone ring is attached to the base of the robot and has two zone switch­es con­nect­ed to it, one on either side of the robot. These fea­tures are con­nect­ed to the base of the robot so that the switch­es can com­mu­ni­cate to oth­er areas of a work cell, like the doors, when a robot is in operation.

Basi­cal­ly, if a robot is mov­ing with­out being in teach mode (and with­out some­one hold­ing the teach pen­dant), a human can­not be in their space. For exam­ple, if a robot is in zone A and it has to move to zone B to work on a project, but a human is in zone B, there are safe­ty mea­sures in place to ensure that the robot can­not move into that area. The hard stop fea­ture is what makes the robot stop when the inter­lock­ing doors are opened.

But, what are inter­lock­ing doors, you ask? That is sim­ple. Inter­lock­ing doors are doors that have switch­es that chan­nel back to the zone switch­es on the robot. The zone switch­es con­trol zone A or zone B. Before the robot can move to zone A, the inter­lock­ing door for zone A needs to be closed. If the inter­lock­ing door for zone A is opened at any time while the robot is per­form­ing its appli­ca­tion, the robot will per­form a hard stop. In order for the safe­ty vio­la­tion to be fixed, the door must be closed. Then, the tech­ni­cian needs to reset the robot, and it will be safe to resume oper­a­tions again.

For more infor­ma­tion on inter­lock­ing doors, hard stops or any oth­er safe­ty fea­tures for your robots or work cells, call Robots​.com today online or at 8777626881.

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