Using KUKA.SafeOperation with SICK Laser-Scanner

  • Hi everyone,

    We are currently planning the safety concept of a demo application. Therefor we want to use an open robot cell. For security reasons we want to use safety light curtains to secure the cell. Additional we want to use two 270° laser-scanner by SICK. The laser scanner should detect a person near the cell an reduce the speed oft the robot or stop it complete, when the person is too close. Our plan is to use the X11 interface of the KR C4 compact controller for the light curtains and emergency stops. But for the laser-scanner we aren't sure how to integrate these. Our idea was to use KUKA.SafeOperation. But here I wanted to ask if we need an safety plc or if we could connect the laser-scanner directly to the robot control. As scanner we want to use these:…s3-acaz40pz1p01/p/p529644

    I hope someone could help us.

  • You would definitely need to use SafeOperation.

    I guess the basic steps would be something like:
    Make sure the robot and tools are covered with monitoring spheres, plus mastering and brake tests.
    Calculate speeds, stopping distances, etc.
    Set-up workspaces with monitored velocities, activated with the safe dual channel inputs from your floor scanner - sent via profisafe or wired to Safe Inputs via safety switching on SIB extended.

    You would also obviously need to make sure you monitor the space 'inside the cell', not just on the approach.

  • Going by the "interfaces" portion of that web page, this device cannot work with an X11 interface, only with ProfiSafe network safety. X11 can only be connected to relay-style "dry contacts". You would require an equivalent device with X11-compatible connections ("OSSD pairs"), or you would need to add ProfiNet to your robot. Or add a safety PLC with Profinet and safety relays to bridge the gap.

    X11, ProfiSafe, or other interface regardless, without SafeOperation, your safety setup is a blunt instrument -- effective, but simplistic. You will be, in effect, connecting your safety device(s) to a simple "kill switch" on the robot. The safety inputs labelled "Operator Safety" will only effect the robot in Automatic operation, while Move Enable and E-Stop will affect the robot in any mode. There is not really any fine-tuning available.

    With SafeOperation, you get more options, at the cost of more complexity. You can create "virtual fencelines" from safety zones, set up zone relationships where the robot simply slows down or stops rather than being "killed", and so on. Be aware that SafeOperation comes in at least two different versions ('basic' and 'deluxe') at different price points and with different numbers of options. Adding SafeOperation to an X11-based safety system requires adding hardware to the controller, while ProfiSafe can perform everything in software and is probably the easier, less expensive choice.

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