Robotic Systems Integration
“Due to their inherent flexibility and reusability, robotic systems are an essential tool in strengthening U. S. manufacturing competitiveness by enabling dramatically greater responsiveness and innovation.”
—National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
MJ Engineering has extensive experience as a factory-authorized robotic systems integrator. We work with FANUC robotic systems to integrate robots with a wide variety of applications, such as:
- Pick and place
- Part and product manipulation
- Safety control
- Line tracking
What sets MJ Engineering apart when it comes to robotic systems integration?
“Our engineering prowess,” says MJ Engineering President Richard Wand. “We’re an engineering company first, before fabrication or manufacturing. We have a lot more technical resources than most companies of our size. Our staff of experienced engineers have worked in a variety of industries. If we haven’t seen it at some point in time or another, I’d be very surprised.”
Watch our robotic systems at work
Customers in industries as diverse as medical, composite manufacturing, and mining all rely on our robotic systems integration services. End-of-arm components can be selected and installed to suit the needs of your facility or operation.
- Automatic tool changer
- Multi-headed tools
- Vacuum systems
- Pneumatic equipment
Layout considerations for robotic systems
When laying out a robotic system, you must first size the robot for the application. Then size the rest of the equipment around the robot cell. MJ Engineering can work with any size FANUC robot to complete the automation and integration of your robotic systems. We have robots with up to 6 axes of movement, payload capacities from 1 to 1,200 kg, and a range of reaches from 10 inches to 10 feet.
MJ Engineering is the ideal choice for robotic systems applications on a large or small scale.
Robotic systems integration safety regulations
At MJ Engineering, we are obsessed with safety. We would rather lose a job than integrate a robotic system that isn’t safe. Our attention to safety shouldn’t set us apart. Everybody in our industry should be striving to meet national and worldwide codes for safety.
According to the Industrial Safety and Hygiene News: “ANSI/RIA R15.06 are consensus standards written by the Robotics Industry Association (RIA) to provide guidance on the proper use of the safety features embedded into robots, as well as how to safely integrate robots into factories and work areas.”
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that “personnel should be safeguarded from hazards associated with the restricted envelope (space) through the use of one or more safeguarding devices.” Those safeguards include mechanical and nonmechanical limiting devices, presence-sensing safeguarding devices, and other barriers. “The proper selection of an effective robotic safeguarding system should be based upon a hazard analysis of the robot system’s use, programming, and maintenance operations. An effective safeguarding system protects not only operators but also engineers, programmers, maintenance personnel, and any others who work on or with robot systems and could be exposed to hazards associated with a robot’s operation. A combination of safeguarding methods may be used.”
Robotic systems and humans
Industrial robots do not interact well with humans. In fact, humans are required to keep their distance from them. Hard guarding, such as a physical fence and/or electronic guarding, such as an area scanner, are used to make sure of it. An area scanner will sense someone approaching the robot, and the robot will stop what it is doing. Or production will stop the moment someone opens a door.
Collaborative robots, on the other hand, are designed to work alongside people. These robotic systems have hit the mainstream only in the last couple of years. Collaborative robotic systems allow for more flexibility with equipment design and operator interaction without rigid gates and sensors. However, collaborative robots operate more slowly than industrial robots, and they cannot handle large payloads.
Like we said, safety is MJ Engineering’s number one goal. Just because a robot is collaborative does not mean it is safe to work around humans. For example, a robot that picks up hot parts or has a knife blade at the end of its arm requires a fence to separate it from human operators while it performs its tasks.