Quick Tips: Setting A Laser Safety Area Scanner with the ZA6 Robot

A laser safety area scanner is a device you can use with Tormach’s ZA6 industrial robot to help ensure a safe workspace. For this quick tip video we are using the Keyence safety scanner, which creates a protective plane that detects objects that intersect its path. As objects come closer to this plane, the scanner signals the ZA6 industrial robot by activating either a warning or a safety input.

When setting up the scanner for operation with your ZA6 robot, there are two zones you want to create: warning and safety. The warning zone prompts the robot to drastically reduce its speed upon entry, while entering the safety zone triggers an immediate stop and activates the robot's safety input, ensuring the robot stops operating.

Installing and connecting your Keyence scanner with the ZA6 industrial robot

Installing the Keyence scanner is relatively straightforward. It's advised to position it at torso or waist height, ensuring its coverage aligns with potential objects it might encounter. The scanner operates within a 270° range, offering protection from various angles. However, keep in mind that the scanner's range doesn't encompass all directions, leaving certain areas unprotected.

The Keyence scanner comes pre-wired to plug directly into the ZA6 robot's safety input. Once connected, interfacing with a Windows computer via USB enables access to the Keyence scanner's programming software. This is where you will define zones and exclusions. It begins by reading out the scanner's configuration data and then allows fine-tuning of the warning and safety zones. The scanner will provide a readout, allowing you to monitor the visual representation of its coverage areas and the areas outside its vision - which will be displayed in a gray triangular shape.

Creating and testing keyence scanner safe zones

Creating a safe zone within the warning area, ensuring sufficient distance for the robot to react, and extending the safety area to prevent any contact are key configurations to establish. The software also enables tracing and exclusion of stationary objects within the scanner's view. Stepping into the warning zone reduces the robot's velocity, while stepping further into the safety zone immediately halts its operation. Witnessing the robot's response validates the successful integration of the safety scanner.

These are key steps involved in setting up a Keyence laser safety scanner with the ZA6 industrial robot. For detailed instructions, it's recommended to refer to the comprehensive documentation provided by Keyence. Implementing this safety measure ensures efficient and secure robot operation within its workspace.