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Majority of companies ‘do not understand safety requirements of collaborative robots’

The vast majority of companies implementing automation technologies “do not understand safety requirements of collaborative robots”, according to a survey undertaken by TM Robotics. 

The company asked for the opinions of automation distributors on current challenges related to robotics for its Global Robotics Report.

The answers showed that 79 per cent of automation distributors do not believe their customers understand the safety requirements of installing a collaborative robot. 

Nigel Smith, CEO of TM Robotics, says: “We spoke to distributors of robotic equipment from all corners of the globe to discover the true state of the global robotics industry.”

He says the survey explored how robot manufacturers are preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and adapting to meet customer expectations, as well as the challenges by this increased connectivity, such as cyber security risks and the changes required for advanced robot software.

Smith adds: “Shockingly, 79.31 per cent of distributors do not believe that their customers understand the safety requirements of installing a cobot.

“What’s more, a further 10.34 per cent are unsure of their customers’ level of knowledge surrounding safety.

“In fact, whether a cobot is safe to use around humans can only be determined by thorough risk assessment.

“As a result of risk assessment findings, added safety features can result in very low operating speeds or multiple stops for a cobot.

“Equally, these necessary safety additions aren’t free, adding significantly to integration costs. Both of these factors have a detrimental impact on return on investment.”

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