Manufacturing AUTOMATION

ANSI/A3 R15.08-2 for industrial mobile robot systems: A3 publishes safety standard update

October 10, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

ANSI/A3 R15.08-2 offers guidance to systems integrators on safety requirements for industrial mobile robot systems. (Photo: A3)
The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has published the second installment of its safety standard for industrial mobile robots (IMR) – ANSI/A3 R15.08-2. The standard reportedly provides guidance on safe integration practices for these systems.
R15.08-2, the American National Standard for Industrial Mobile Robots (IMRs) – Safety Requirements – Part 2: Requirements for IMR system(s) and IMR application(s) provides safety requirements for deploying IMRs into an industrial environment. R15.08-2 specifies requirements for integrating, configuring and customizing an IMR or fleet of IMRs into a site, says A3 in a press statement.
The new standard is accredited by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), states A3. It can be purchased online at AUTOMATE.ORG/buystandards.
“With the rapid development of mobile robot capabilities, it’s more important than ever for the safety of human workers to have common safety requirements and expectations for IMR systems and system integrations,” said Carole Franklin, director of robotic standards development at A3. “The R15.08 part 2 is much-needed guidance toward ensuring safe integration practices for IMRs and will be a solid foundation for future work in this area.”
A3 first published R15.08 Part 1 (ANSI/RIA R15.08-1-2020) in late 2020 as guidance for IMR manufacturers on common safety requirements. ANSI/A3 R15.08-2 now follows with requirements for system integrators.
In this document, ANSI/A3 R15.08-2:
  • Describes different types of IMRs and aspects of IMR systems
  • Covers the adaptations necessary for the application and the facility in which the IMR(s) will be used
  • Describes safety requirements when IMRs interact with workstations, charging stations, and other equipment
  • Explains safety considerations regarding the deployed operating environment

“A paradigm shift has occurred in recent years with the continued advancement of mobile robots in the workplace, and this shift demanded safety requirements beyond what is offered in other robot safety standards,” said Jeff Pratt, chair of the R15.08 committee and senior corporate EHS engineer at Crown Equipment. “With Part 2 of the R15.08 standard, system integrators now have specific requirements that will help them ensure they’re deploying the safest mobile robot systems available in their customers’ facilities.”

With the publication of the ANSI/A3 R15.08-2 complete, A3’s R15.08 committee will next develop R15.08 Part 3. According to the association, this will provide safety requirements for users of IMR systems and IMR applications. The R15.08 committee will also consider developing technical reports to address emerging topics such as mobile robot technology advances. Such topics will likely include multi-sensor fusion, additional stability testing, stability validation and additional dynamic stability testing.

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