Within the field of industrial automation there is an increasing need to protect our skilled workforce from potentially catastrophic interactions with powerful automated machinery. With this as a primary concern, designers must also account for machine longevity, maintainability and cost of ownership.
The standard approach to this protection is to utilize peripheral safety devices that stop the automated machinery through a de-energizing “stop function”. These stop functions are categorized by how and when they remove power from the motors. There are three categories of stop functions.
- Category 0: Uncontrolled
Removes power from motors immediately.
- Category 1: Controller
Powers the motors and other components until the robot is stopped.
- Category 2: Normal Cycle
Powers the motors and other components until, and after, the robot is stopped.
Categories 0 and 1 are considered safety stops while Category 2 is considered a normal cycle stop. The category that is best, or quickest, is largely dependent on what the motors are connected to. Safety standards require that an emergency stop (E-stop) result in a Category 0 or 1 stop, according to the risk assessment for the application.
When Autonetics provides an automation solution, we offer a turnkey system. Naturally this includes supplying and integrating with safety peripherals. Unless otherwise requested, our minimum safety implementation includes Estop push buttons, fail-safe software-controlled relays, and dedicated connections for factory Estop integration. When triggered, any one of these will result in an Estop on the robotics, a latching software alarm, and several visual indicators.
Additionally, Autonetics can incorporate any number of safety devices. Some examples are safety mats, door interlocks, area scanners, light curtains, audible alarms, and remote safety switches. Generally, these can be incorporated into either our primary estop circuit, or independent tertiary circuits with Category 0 or 1 stops, as necessary.
Our highly configurable systems can be integrated with site-wide networks or implemented as stand-alone devices. Ensuring a commitment to safety even in a scaling environment. Whether your operation is large or small, Autonetics will deliver high quality industrial automation solutions that keep your employees safe and your company productive.
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