Robot kills man at German Volkswagen plant

Thursday July 02, 2015
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Jul. 2, 2015 - The Associated Press is reporting that a robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany. According to the AP, the 22-year-old man died Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100 km north of Frankfurt.

He was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, noted VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig.

“He said initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process. He said it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them,” reports the AP.

According to Hillwig, another worker was present when the incident occurred, but wasn't harmed.

— With files from The Associated Press

(While the incident in this article takes place outside of North America, Manufacturing AUTOMATION feels this case highlights the global importance of robot safety. — Ed.)

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