Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Robot kills man at German Volkswagen plant


July 2, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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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

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(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.)