New ISO 10218: No ‘Marauding’ Robots

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 @ 05:08 PM gHale

By Nicholas Sheble
“Technology doesn’t wait for standards and reports to keep up with the pace of development on the safety front,” said Scott Krumwiede during Wednesday’s Siemens webinar “Robots and robotic devices: Safety requirements for industrial robots.”

Krumwiede, safety manager at RWD Technologies, a division of General Physics where he manages a team of senior technical trainers and analysts developing and delivering training in the manufacturing arena in the areas of mechanical, electrical, operations and safety, spoke about today’s exploding technology industry and to the need for standards to undergo constant review and updating.

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Nowhere is this more critical than with the use of industrial robots in a wide range of industrial applications, he said.

“While marauding robots may have entertainment value, the unsafe use of industrial robots could prove very dangerous and costly,” Krumwiede said.

The 45-minute educational webinar addressed the new requirements for working with robotic operations as defined in ISO 10218-2011, Parts 1 & 2.

This revised standard affects the design, implementation, and integration of safety into robotic systems and designs. It is Krumwiede’s and Siemens’ aim the webinar helps users discover the gains that are possible through implementing the new ISO standard into their businesses.

The key benefits for users are they will:
• Gain insights into design requirements and protective measures
• Understand the verification and validation of safety requirements and protective measures
• Explore Integrated Manufacturing System (IMS) interface requirements
• Learn how to employ risk assessments for hazard identification and mitigation

The last time ISO 10218 saw an update was in 2006.

It specifies requirements and guidelines for the inherent safe design, protective measures, and information for use of industrial robots. It also describes basic hazards associated with robots, and provides requirements to eliminate or adequately reduce the risks associated with these hazards.

ISO 10218 does not apply to non-industrial robots although the safety principles established in ISO 10218 may work for these other robots.

Examples of non-industrial robot applications include undersea, military and space robots; remotely operated manipulators; prosthetics and other aids for the physically impaired; micro-robots (displacement <1 mm); surgery or healthcare; and service or consumer products. The webinar, with slides and audio, will be available next week on the Siemens site. Click here for other useful webinars relating to machine safety and industrial automation are on the site as well.

Nicholas Sheble ( is an engineering writer and technical editor in Raleigh, NC.

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