Robots are taking over -- the really dangerous jobs
Oct 1, 2019
Industrial robots are providing solutions for dangerous environments and jobs that people are exposed to, as seen with manual welding. Automation solutions are providing a break from the dangerous fumes and heavy lifting that workers previously had to accomplish.
With continuing advancements in automation, price and accessibility are allowing more and more companies to implement robots into their production. Understandably, this change can create fear in workers who feel their jobs may be taken away. In reality, robots are relieving these workers from jobs that are tedious, dull and sometimes dangerous while allowing them to advance into better opportunities.
One of the best examples of robots keeping workers out of harm’s way is robotic welding. Repetitive manual welding is extremely hazardous to the human body. Dangerous fumes from metals and coatings can lead to serious illnesses. Some products contain lead or asbestos; and exposure can lead to emphysema, lung cancer and even kidney failure.
Along with the fumes, manual welding produces a lot of noise and intense heat. The loud environment can cause hearing loss and stress in the welder; while the heat can cause burns or heat exhaustion. The ultraviolet light from the welding torch can cause Ultraviolet Keratitis, also known as “welder’s flash.”
Robotic welding cells have several safety features to make sure workers are protected. Safety fencing, interlocking door switches, and light curtains keep humans out of the area while the welding robot is in operation. While a worker is loading parts, a metal divider attached to the positioner keeps them safe from arc glare and sparks from the welding torch.
In facilities with robotic welding, workers are still needed to operate, monitor and inspect the robot and its welds. Safety is the highest priority and integrating a robotic workcell with safety features is a great way to stay competitive and create more jobs locally.
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