These days, robotic cells can be found throughout production facilities. Robotic cells are used for automated material handling, warehouse or logistics automation, robotic welding, robotic assembly, robotic dispensing, and material processing. With so many applications, there are key safety and compliance issues manufacturers and their service providers should be aware of.

Functional Safety Evaluations

A number of worldwide relevant standards such as IEC 61508, IEC 62061, ISO 13489-1, and others are published in order to reduce potential safety risks in products, components and systems within machines, systems, and safety-related applications. Compliance to these standards demonstrates a high degree of safety, reliability, and quality.

Cybersecurity Testing

Efficiency, automation and maintenance of industrial robots can be monitored or manipulated more often through networked control systems, exposing them to the corporate network or even the internet. This connectivity poses a safety concern as these industrial robots are rarely, if ever, developed with cybersecurity in mind. Industrial sabotage as well as accidental infection are increasing, so testing systems to make sure they are secure is important.

Wireless Testing

Various wireless industry alliances are concerned with ensuring the interoperability, performance, safety, and security of wireless and IoT devices. Testing and certification for both long and short range devices must be performed by an independent testing agency that has been recognized or authorized by the relevant industry alliance.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing

Electromagnetic interference and susceptibility can seriously affect the performance of your electric and electronic devices, especially on the manufacturing floor. 

Any manufacturer wanting to bring such products onto the European market has to comply with the EMC directive 2014/30/EU.

In addition, specific EMC testing can be required for functional safety purposes, by a standard such as ISO 10218-1 & UL 1740 or by a specific country.

EU Machinery Directive

EU member states require a valid CE marking for all machines within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC that is placed on the market or put into operation. This proves compliance to essential safety requirements and industry standards to regulatory bodies.

NRTL Compliance

To ensure product quality, the US and Canadian governments have clearly defined regulations which industrial robots and equipment must satisfy before they can be approved for sale or for use in the workplace or with the public. A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) is accredited by OSHA and by the SCC to assess these robots and issue certification marks and field labels as appropriate to tell both consumers and business partners that your products have been thoroughly tested and specifically certified to comply with electrical and fire safety regulations.

Understanding Compliance Requirements for Industrial Robots

To help guide our customers through the industrial robotics compliance process, TÜV Rheinland has developed a new whitepaper, “Understanding Compliance Requirements for Industrial Robots” addressing industry trends and challenges.

Author

THOMAS KOESTER

THOMAS KOESTER

HEAD OF THE TECHNICAL COMPETENCE CENTER INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY

Head of the Technical Competence Center Industrial Machinery at TÜV Rheinland. Studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin. Started his career in 1996 in the electrical engineering test laboratory of TÜV Rheinland Japan in Yokohama. Since 2005 employed at TÜV Rheinland in Germany in the area of machine safety and laboratory manager for industrial machinery until 2020. Since 2020 global coordinator of the Machinery segment at TÜV Rheinland. Member of German and European committees in the area of machinery safety.

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