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Want a robot but don’t know where to start?

Author : Barry Weller, Mitsubishi Electric

02 November 2021

Industrial or collaborative? This is the question everyone is asking. We all want to get the most out of our production; however, the demarcation line between the two options is not as clear as you might think. It all depends on the setting in which the machine operates, how operators need to interact with the robot and its main functions.

Barry Weller, Solutions Marketing Manager – OEM at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at how to identify what type of robot best suits your application and how to integrate it.

The first question that companies should ask is: what do we want to achieve? The answer to this will determine the role and type of robot needed. Consequently, conducting a comprehensive risk assessment will shed light on the safety requirements.
For example, if speeding up operations is the main objective behind deploying a robotic solution, conventional industrial robots, such as Mitsubishi Electric's MELFA RV articulated arm and RH series SCARA robots, are quite likely to be the most suitable option. These robots move at high speed which means they are suitable for applications where workspace is to be shared with human operators only by adopting additional safety provisions – for example, systems that allow automated speed control.

Conversely, if the main goal is assisting employees in their activities, the application would be considered collaborative. As a result, any conventional physical separation between humans and robots would obstruct the application. In this case, the ISO/TS 15066:2016 standard supports the development of suitable safety measures, as highlighted by the risk assessment. An example of a robot designed for collaborative applications is Mitsubishi Electric's MELFA RV series Assista articulated arm robot...

Read the full article in DPA's November issue



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