Important standards, regulations when designing equipment that includes robots

Panel of industry experts discusses the impact of robotics on manufacturing and how technology keeps affecting robots.

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief

OEMs need to be aware of standards and regulations from ANSI, RIA and ISO, especially for robot integration, but what else do you need to know? With robotics playing such a pivotal role in the future of discrete manufacturing, we asked a seasoned panel of industry experts for their insights and predictions on the role of robots.

Click here to meet the panel of experts.


Q: What are the most important standards and regulations that machine builders should be aware of when designing equipment that includes robotic elements?


Carole Franklin: ANSI/RIA R15.06:2012 is the current industrial robot safety standard in the United States. This U.S. national standard is based on the international standard of ISO 10218:2011, parts 1 and 2; if your industrial robot system is in compliance with the R15.06, it’s also in compliance with ISO 10218. It’s important to be aware of the requirements in these related standards, because the new technical specification, ISO/TS 15066 provides supplemental and supporting information to ISO 10218 and is intended to be used together with that standard. Effective use of TS 15066 assumes that the robot system under consideration is in compliance with Part 1 and Part 2 of ISO 10218:2011, or with ANSI/RIA R15.06:2012.

Roberta Nelson Shea: ANSI RIA R15.06 is a national adoption of both ISO 10218-1 and ISO 10218-2. These standards are critical to the safety of robot systems. TS 15066 is needed for collaborative applications. These standards reference other standards that are also needed, such as ISO 13849, ISO 13855 and ISO 13857.

The first standard OEMs and integrators should know regarding robotic applications deployed in the United States is ANSI/RIA R15.06:2012, addressing safety requirements for industrial robots and robot systems.

Chris Soranno: The first standard OEMs and integrators should know regarding robotic applications deployed in the United States is ANSI/RIA R15.06:2012, addressing safety requirements for industrial robots and robot systems. Along with this standard, three technical reports coincide to help form a complete picture of safety concepts: Risk Assessment (RIA TR R15.306), Safeguarding (RIA TR R15.406) and Change Management (RIA TR R15.506).

Also read: ISO/TS 15066:2016 takes a step closer to human-robot interaction

However, most robots do not work alone; they are often incorporated into automated or semi-automated systems working in synchronized operation with other industrial equipment. In these cases, a number of other important standards may also need to be considered.

    • ANSI B11.20 addresses integrated manufacturing systems—two or more industrial machines, one of which is the robot, that are linked by a material handling system and coordinated by an interconnected control system.
    • ANSI/ASME B20.1 deals with conveyors and related equipment.
    • ANSI/PMMI B155.1 covers packaging machinery and packaging-related converting machinery.
    • ANSI/SPI B151.27 encompasses robots integrated with injection molding machines.
    • AWS D16.1M/D16.1 is for robotic arc welding applications.
    • SEMI S28 focuses on robots used with semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Scott Mabie: ISO just published the long-awaited ISO/TS 15066 on cobot safety. This is a big step for collaborative robots. The world has accepted that this is a class of robots that’s viable, that we can have in the future.

David Arens: I’d recommend being familiar with ANSI B11, UL 508C, RIA R15.06, NFPA79, PMMI machinery standards and IEC 13849 and 62061.

Corey Ryan: ISO 10218: 1-2 are the standards that cover human-robot collaboration and outline the various accepted strategies required for collaboration, such as speed and separation monitoring, power and force limiting and safety-rated stop. Regarding risk assessments and injury thresholds, additional details will be covered by the new technical specification TS 15066.



Homepage image courtesy of Stuart Miles at 

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