When humans operate in factory setting, they usually have a set workspace, a place where all the tools they need to do their job are located. The same can be said for a robot workspace in an industrial setting.
There are many different ways to think about a robot’s workspace, but it is basically defined as the space in which the robot operates. This could be on a production line or in a workcell. It does not matter where they are operating, every industrial articulated robot has a defined workspace – the amount of room it is able to move around an area.
Of course, the robotic workspace is going to be vastly bigger than a human workspace. These metal masters of accuracy can sit over 8 feet high, when in a crouched position, and have an extensive reach when need be. A robotic workspace may have the diameter of 20-30+ feet, or even much longer. There are also smaller robots that may have smaller workspaces, like spider robots, which are programmed to locate smaller objects on a line or in a bin.
It is important for manufacturers to work with robotic companies or integrators to determine how much robotic workspace is needed when designing the system. If a facility is too small, it may not be suited for a large robot, or the robot’s operation may be destructive.
One thing that is necessary is that human workers stay out of a robot’s workspace during operation. While humans may be able to enter each other’s workspace, entering a robot’s workspace could result in injury or death, due to the amount of speed and force with which a robot works.
Most robotic workspaces are noted by floor markings, fencing or other safety measures to keep humans from crossing into a dangerous area. As mentioned above, the speed and accuracy that makes robots so attractive to manufacturers can also be deadly if a worker decides to disregard safety procedures.
The best rule of thumb is to let it work – it will have its workspace, and you can have yours.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator of robotic systems for FANUC, KUKA and Motoman, have models of all shapes and sizes that range from having very small to very large robotic workspace needs. Our highly-skilled group of engineers will work with you to design a system or workcell that will fit in the space you have available in your facility.
For more information on automating your facility with RobotWorx, contact us today at 740-251-4312.