Human-robot collaboration in the Smart Factory

In Smart Factories, humans and robots are brought into even closer proximity. In the spirit of a modern division of labor, SICK sensors are offering robots a helping hand and providing them with a set of eyes for accomplishing their tasks in the industrial environment. This closer interaction between humans and machines calls for safety solutions that can respond with absolute reliability and a high level of flexibility.

The aim is to turn cooperation and coexistence into true collaboration. The Smart Factory is based on the close interaction between robots and humans. In these so-called collaborative scenarios, the force, speed, and paths of the robot and workpiece pose a risk to workers. These risks must be minimized either by using inherent safety measures, or by employing additional measures.

Flexible safety

It is already possible to adapt safety sensors accurately to the current machine process. Intelligent algorithms are making it possible, for example, to move away from digitally activated safety technology in favor of a continuous machine response based on the movement of the person involved. This means that the worker approaching the machine no longer triggers a complete shutdown, but rather an appropriate reduction in the working speed, or adjustments to the directions of movement.

Safe Motion in action

“Safe Motion” is the best technology currently available. It ensures the safety of persons at all times, allowing production to continue uninterrupted. This results in significantly fewer downtimes and unintended shutdowns, shorter cycle times, and an increase in the efficiency and availability of the machines and plants.

Functional safety in human-robot collaboration (HRC)

Where humans and machines now work more closely but also more safely together, functional safety will take today’s production systems an important step closer to greater flexibility. If the ultimate goal is complete collaboration – where humans and robots share the same workspace and carry out their work concurrently – then it makes sense to develop solutions that also enable coexistence and cooperation. With 70 years of experience and knowledge to draw upon, SICK has assembled an extensive portfolio of safety solutions in its product range.

Safety expertise in the portfolio

The programmable safety controller with accompanying software, which can also be combined with a safe series connection, makes it possible to protect a large number of hazardous points at the same time. The new generation of safety laser scanners reliably protects hazardous areas, access points, and hazardous points. High-performance safety light curtains can be used as compact muting alternatives without additional sensors, and to provide high-availability hazardous point and area protection. SICK maximizes the availability of protective devices, and keeps machine and plant downtime to a minimum with its products.

Product selection

Safety controllers
The software-programmable safety controller
Flexi Soft
Safety light curtains
Because we take safety to the next level
Safety systems
Open access for safe productivity
Safe Robotics Area Protection

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Sensor solutions for robotics
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Sensor solutions for robotics
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Working together as equals

Thanks to sensors from SICK, robots perceive more precisely. For all challenges in the field of robotics: Robot Vision, Safe Robotics, End-of-Arm Tooling, and Position Feedback.
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