Use of industrial robots is more and more popular in wider range of applications. The robots however, has to comply with safety certification and solutions. Schaffner blog posted a note on EMI suppression challenges and use of EMC filters.
With increased adoption of industry 4.0, the use of industrial robots in manufacturing is gaining ever greater popularity. The factories of the future are more likely than ever to use robots. Deployment of robots is also rapidly increasing in other areas too, including the chemical and medical industries.
Serious problems will arise if robot designers fail to understand – or mitigate for – Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) with robots behaving unexpectedly such as performing frequent re-starts or executing unprogrammed or unexpected movements.
In addition, there may be interference to functional-safety systems, such as false triggering of a safety mechanism, leading to unnecessary equipment stoppages, or failure of safety protection to operate as required. All these safety issues may be hazardous for workers especially those working near a robot.
Addressing the Issue
Robotics engineers must meet applicable equipment directives covering both electromagnetic compatibility and functional safety. These specify requirements and guidelines for inherent safe design, protective measures, and information for use of robots. They describe basic hazards associated with robots and provides requirements to eliminate – or adequately reduce – the risks associated with these hazards. Functional safety cannot be guaranteed without reference to and compliance with applicable EMC standards.
EMI suppression filters are one of the most common and cost-effective ways of attenuating noise and interference signals. If EMI filters are not used, the device may require much more extensive shielding and redesign. A benefit of proactively addressing EMI concerns is that an EMI filter can often be easily integrated into the design of a device – without significantly impacting the overall dimensions, weight, and cost of a product.