Looking Forward with Industrial Robot Safety

The abilities of industrial robots, their applications, and the amount of research going into robotics is increasing at an incredibly rapid rate. Industrial robots are being implemented in more and more areas, and they are taking on a larger portion of the work than ever before. We’re seeing advancements in industrial robots in factories and warehouses, but we’re also seeing industrial robots enter less industrial settings because of improvements in technology. While there have been drastic improvements in industrial robot technologies, it’s essential that industrial robot safety keeps up.

Better robots, must also be safer robots

It’s important to manufacturers and business owners that the capabilities of industrial robots improve. We want faster, more efficient, and more accurate robots. We want out industrial robots to increase productivity and profitability. That, being said, we can’t sacrifice safety for speed.

You must ensure a safe working environment for your workers, and that can be challenging if you use robots and heavy machinery. While industrial robots can make work safer workers, they can also simultaneously present a safety hazard. Safety barriers that guard and protect workers are a good way to increase safety, but once a worker moves beyond the barrier, they’re at great risk. A good next step would be robots that can safely be deployed alongside human workers.

Industrial robot safety includes cybersecurity

It’s not just physical safety that’s important. Industrial robot safety includes cybersecurity, too. As the level of connectivity between machines increases cybersecurity becomes more important.

With the Industrial Internet of Things playing more of a role in factories we must pay more attention to cybersecurity. The higher level of connectivity and the ability to access data and information remotely means there’s a higher risk for safety and security breaches.

It’s now possible for someone to hack your factory from a remote location. They could hi-jack your system and force your machines to ignore commands. Is it likely that someone will hack an industrial robot and change safety parameters? Probably not. However, the risk is there and the potential damage that hacking industrial robots could cause is great, so cybersecurity should be taken seriously.

Safety precautions aren’t always put in place to be used. They’re there just in case. You put locks on doors even if you don’t have people trying to break into your home every night. You should secure your factory network as well.

Safety standards must reflect the technology

Safety standards must be updated as technologies improve. The safety protocols for a Model T production line wouldn’t fly in a modern day auto assembly plant. Of course, our safety regulations are more strict today, but the point is that safety standards must accurately reflect the level of technology that is being used. We’re seeing substantial improvements in industrial robot technologies, so safety standards must be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.


Much of the discussion surrounding industrial robot safety focuses on the future, but the present is just as important. Properly functioning machinery can help improve factory safety, and decrease the risk of injury. Call 479-422-0390 for service or repair on your Indramat motion control system.