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October 27, 2021

A Human Robot Collaboration - Denso’s New Collaborative Robot Controller

Oct 27, 2021, 00:03 AM by Dave Kristjansson | Automation Specialist

Can human employees safely work alongside their robotic counterparts? With the Denso Robotics’ new Collaborative Robot controller they can. 

Why would a human need to be in the same space as a robot? 

Here’s the situation: Customer needed to apply adhesive to an oil pan. The process was both manual and inherently time consuming.  

The goal of the situation: Introduce a robot to increase production rates. 

There’s a but: The process is in a location where there is not enough room to use safety fencing. Due to the curing time of the adhesive, whenever there are breaks or shift changes, the adhesive dispensing nozzle needed to be cleared of a hardened blockage. To keep production levels high, the nozzle cleaning procedure needed to be fast and safe.  

The solution: The customer decided to implement a Denso robot with a safety controller to automate the dispensing process. Using Denso’s Safety Motion, employees are able to approach while the program is running, and the robot will automatically stop all motion when the employee is within a specified distance. The safety controller means employees don’t have to remember to hit a button to stop the process before walking towards the robot. The robot resumes immediately after the employee is out of the specified range. 

Denso’s safety motion was developed to address a main issue with force monitored collaborative robots — SPEED. Force monitored collaborative robots have to be severely speed limited in order to not injure their human counterparts in the case of a collision. (Remember: Force = Mass x Acceleration). Force Monitored Collaborative robots still have their place in environments where slower speeds are not an issue, but in many applications, fast speeds are desired. Denso’s unique approach marries the idea of safety through distancing with the production speed that Denso robots are known for. Consider a Plant Safety Officer’s view point — they would much rather the Operator NOT be struck in order for the robot to stop operation.