According to the trade association, every robot, regardless of whether it is a lightweight robot or an HRC robot, must meet the common robot standard DIN EN ISO 10218-1. There it is stated that every robot needs an operating mode selector switch and an enabling switch. In an industrial robot, this has been a standard functionality on the robot control panel for years. With the new providers, as well as with Universal Robots (UR), which are designed for ease of use and cobot operation, the enabling button was dispensed with as standard.
If the HRC application is already installed and running, this is entirely permissible from the perspective of the standard. However, this is not the case with all UR applications. A cobot does not simply become an HRC application.
The SaCa Safety-Case control panel provides a solution for these applications, which are often a coexistence between robots and humans.
For the setup mode it is necessary to keep the 3-stage enabling switch pressed. The aim is to keep the button in the middle position, as the human reflexively contracts or lets go in case of danger. This triggers the enabling button and stops immediately. Thus, the human being is protected from a possible collision with the robot.
The challenge in developing an enabling button suitable for Universal Robots (UR) was the new possibilities of this globally present cobot – the Freedrive.
The freedrive is a functionality in which the UR robot can be moved with the other hand while the UR robot is pressed. This enables manual “teaching” of the positions. In itself a very good functionality that makes the quick and easy programming of cobots possible.
In terms of security, however, it is now more difficult 1st hand on the freedrive, 2. Hand on the robot and 3. Hand on the enabling button. Unfortunately not that easy to implement.
This is why the Freedrive and the enabling button have been integrated into one handle on the SaCa Safety Case control panel. The enabling button can be held with the index finger and the Freedrive can be pressed with the little finger if necessary. The second hand then guides the robot. Due to the central position of the handle, the control panel is ergonomically suitable for both left and right-handers.
The SaCa Safety Case control panel with handle is a plastic case that is inserted and screwed into the existing UR teach panel.
By retrofitting the UR Teach Panel with the SaCa Safety Case, including the 3-stage enabling button, the requirement for an enabling device is fulfilled DIN EN ISO 10218-1 Fulfills. The one-handed ergonomic operation also allows you to press the button for the Freedrive mode . This leaves one hand free to guide the robot. If a longer program is to be written, the SaCa can be placed on almost any surface thanks to its 3-point support. Thus, the SaCa with UR Teach Panel is safe and convenient for programming.
Retrofitting the SaCa safety case is also simple and straightforward. The prerequisite for this is that the UR robot is at least 3rd generation and the controller is software version 3.2.18654 or higher.
This topic was discussed again and again at UR. The different scenarios are described in detail in a white paper by Andreas Schunkert. Here, too, it is always important to bear in mind that a cobot does not automatically enable an HRC application.