Do you use industrial robots? ANSI adopts ISO 10218–1 and changes the game

If you are an indus­tri­al robot user in North Amer­i­ca (Cana­da and the USA pri­mar­i­ly), you know ANSI/RIA R15.06 and CSA Z434. Did you know that ANSI has adopt­ed the ISO robot safe­ty stan­dard? Learn more here…

Material Handling Robot at workIf you are an indus­tri­al robot user or inte­gra­tor work­ing in North Amer­i­ca, you know RIA’s ven­er­a­ble robot stan­dard, RIA R15.06. This stan­dard was a ground break­er in it’s day, advanc­ing the safe use of robot­ic tech­nol­o­gy in thou­sands of work­places in the US and Cana­da. CSA adopt­ed R15.06 and pub­lished it, with a few changes, as CSA Z434, pro­vid­ing near-har­mo­niza­tion in the US and Cana­di­an mar­kets.

These two stan­dards brought the first inklings of risk assess­ment and con­trol reli­a­bil­i­ty require­ments to North Amer­i­can equip­ment design­ers and inte­gra­tors and broke new ground.

The last revi­sion of R15.06 was pub­lished in 1999, and the last edi­tion of Z434 was in 2003. In 2007, RIA made the bold move to begin har­mo­niza­tion with the inter­na­tion­al world by adopt­ing ISO 10218–1, Robots for Indus­tri­al Envi­ron­ment – Safe­ty Require­ments Part 1 – Robot. This stan­dard effec­tive­ly replaces Sec­tion 4 of R15.06, cov­er­ing the design require­ments for the robot itself, leav­ing the safe­ty require­ments for the rest of the work cell to the exist­ing R15.06–1999. This stan­dard brings some tru­ly excit­ing capa­bil­i­ties to robot users, includ­ing:

  • Wire­less Teach Pen­dants
  • Syn­chro­nized mul­ti­ple robots
  • Col­lab­o­ra­tive robot­ic appli­ca­tions and
  • Pro­gram­ma­ble safe­ty con­trollers for enve­lope lim­i­ta­tion.

When ISO pub­lish­es ISO 10218–2 in 2010 the rest of the cell safe­ty require­ments should be cov­ered in that doc­u­ment.

CSA is cur­rent­ly review­ing CSA Z434 — they may choose to adopt ISO 10218–1 and (even­tu­al­ly) ISO 10218–2 once it is pub­lished, or they may choose to sim­ply reaf­firm the exist­ing stan­dard and con­sid­er adopt­ing the ISO stan­dards in anoth­er 5 years.

Need to know more? I pre­sent­ed a webi­nar on this stan­dard on 19-Nov-09 through my friends at Pil­grim Soft­ware. The record­ed webi­nar can be down­loaded here. A copy of the pre­sen­ta­tion slides is also avail­able.

Watch the webi­nar (you’ll need Apple’s Quick­Time play­er or a view­er that can play .mov files):
Are You Ready for the Com­ing Changes in Robot Safe­ty Stan­dards?

EN 954–1 / ISO 13849–1:2006 Mandatory Implementation Date Change

The EC Machin­ery Work­ing Group announces the exten­sion of the manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion date for EN ISO 13849–1:2008.

Reg­u­lar read­ers will be aware of the con­tro­ver­sy that has sur­round­ed the manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion of EN ISO 13849–1:2006, orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled for 28-Dec-09. The EC Machin­ery Work­ing Group met this week to review the opin­ions of Euro­pean machin­ery experts. Fol­low­ing the meet­ing, it was announced that the manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion date will be extend­ed by some time, how­ev­er no date was giv­en.

Some spec­u­la­tion exists about the length of the exten­sion, with some sources say­ing that it could be as lit­tle as 12 months to as long as five years. Until the EC revis­es the dates and pub­lish­es them in the Offi­cial Jour­nal we won’t have the ‘final word’, how­ev­er we are hop­ing that an announce­ment will be made to clar­i­fy the deci­sion and the date.

If you are a machine builder who has already imple­ment­ed EN ISO 13849–1:2006 and the val­i­da­tion stan­dard EN ISO 13849–2:2006, you are ahead of the game. Your efforts have not been wast­ed, as your sys­tems already con­form to the require­ments that will even­tu­al­ly be manda­to­ry for all machine builders. For those machine builders who have yet to imple­ment these stan­dards, you’ve gained a bit of a reprieve, but you will still be required to imple­ment these stan­dards even­tu­al­ly. If you have yet to begin imple­men­ta­tion, now is the time.

I will post the new manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion dates as soon as this infor­ma­tion is avail­able.

More flip-flopping on EN 954–1?

In recent posts I’ve been dis­cussing the changes in the use of EN 954–1, Safe­ty of Machin­ery – Safe­ty Relat­ed Parts of Con­trol Sys­tems. Part 1: Gen­er­al Prin­ci­ples for Design. The EU orig­i­nal­ly announced that this stan­dard was to be with­drawn on 31-Dec-09, being replaced by EN ISO 13849–1. As you may know, there are sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in these two stan­dards.

A lat­er announce­ment from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion repealed

In recent posts I’ve been dis­cussing the changes in the use of EN 954–1, Safe­ty of Machin­ery – Safe­ty Relat­ed Parts of Con­trol Sys­tems. Part 1: Gen­er­al Prin­ci­ples for Design. The EU orig­i­nal­ly announced that this stan­dard was to be with­drawn on 31-Dec-09, being replaced by EN ISO 13849–1. As you may know, there are sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in these two stan­dards.

A lat­er announce­ment from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion repealed the with­draw­al of EN 954–1, extend­ing its use until 31-Dec-12. This announce­ment was itself with­drawn.

So where do we stand today? Cur­rent­ly, EN 954–1 will be with­drawn on 31-Dec-09 and will be replaced by EN ISO 13849–1, UNLESS this deci­sion is again reversed by the EC in con­sul­ta­tion with the EC Machin­ery Work­ing Group. A meet­ing is planned for 7/8-Dec-09 to dis­cuss this sit­u­a­tion and to resolve the con­fu­sion.

As a machine builder, there is only one pru­dent course of action — imple­ment EN ISO 13849–1 in your designs. If the deci­sion remains as it cur­rent­ly stands, then your prod­ucts will con­form to the require­ments on 31-Dec-09 and you will be able to con­tin­ue to ship prod­uct to the EU. If the deci­sion is reversed by the EC and EN 954–1 remains in use until 2012, then you are three years ahead of the require­ment and should be using that to full advan­tage in your mar­ket­ing and sales efforts.

My friend Jon Sev­ern has a post relat­ed to this on his blog at MachineBuilding.net.