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Two new Proposals for wider circulation

This week we have two new proposals from BSI for Members who may wish to comment, the first is on Guide to the Sustainable Design and Application of Robotic Systems and the second is on Additive manufacturing - Non-destructive testing.

Proposal: Guide to the Sustainable Design and Application of Robotic Systems.

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Comment period end date: 01/04/2021


To provide guidelines for the inherently sustainable design, protective measures and information for design and use of robots in which there is a potential for environmental or ecological harm.


This Standard will assist developers, regulators and policy-makers in identifying and addressing sustainability issues when designing, producing, using and disposing of robotic devices. It works in parallel with existing safety requirements for different types of robots (BS EN ISO 12100:2010), as well as broader ethical issues concerning robotics (BS 8611:2016).

While this standard involves sustainability aspects from many existing areas (materials, energy, pollution) it both brings the elements relevant to robotic sustainability into one document and highlights specific novel topics important to modern robotic systems, such as decommissioning, re-use, self-repair, energy and communications use, etc. Furthermore, while sustainability can be considered as an ethical concern, and so within the remit of BS8611, it is such an important and many-faceted issue that a separate standard addressing the sustainability of robotics is required.

Within this, the standard will address relevant areas in robotics, specifically sustainability of Production and fabrication: minerals and materials; environmental effect of production; energy cost of production and fabrication (including modularity improvements). Deployment and placement: environmental effects of deployment; energy cost of deployment; effects of placement on long-term sustainability; audit of deployments.

Normal/Expected activity: energy use during normal/expected activity; environmental temperature and pollution effects; auditing mobile robots; effects of sensing on environment; efficient software (minimising CPU use); efficient communication (minimising data transfer); Green AI - not just “brute force” techniques; effects of robot mobility on environment. Failures and maintenance: environmental effects of failures; failsafe mechanisms; environmental effects of maintenance (e.g. cleaning materials); resource implications of redundancy mechanisms; (environmental) cost of repair versus replacement; (energy) cost of repair versus replacement. Disposal and decommissioning: recognising end of `life’ and diminishing performance; clean disposal; audit - what resources were consumed/affected by the existence of robot; (environmental) cost of disposal; (energy) cost of disposal; access and resources required for decommissioning.

Recycling and reconfiguration: tracking of components and constituent parts; re-use - e.g. the secondhand robot market and the reset of learned behaviours; enabling the secondhand robot market - designing for re-use; environmental affect of recycling/reconfiguration - recycling and the circular economy; self-awareness, reconfigurability and environmental awareness. Cleanup and long-term effects: effects of removal of robot from deployment - e.g. flora has grown over it; contamination; audit - once replaced/removed, can we tell it was ever there?

The standard will address this wide range of sustainability issues, highlighting these with respect to robotics and suggesting potential routes to increased sustainability that should be considered in development, production, deployment, use, and disposal. If standards relating to these issues already exist we will assess and, where relevant, link to those.

Proposal: CEN/TC 438 N 233 Additive manufacturing — Non-destructive testing — Intentionally seeding flaws in parts.

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Comment period end date: 28/04/2021

Scope -

This document is intended to serve as a best practice for the identification and “seeding” of nondestructively detectable flaw replicas of metal alloy PBF-LB and DED processes. Three seeding categories are described: 1. process flaws through CAD design, 2. build parameter manipulation, 3. subtractive manufacturing, and 4. depositing/inserting flaws after processing. These include flaws present within as-deposited materials, post heat-treated or HIP processed material, and those flaws made detectable because of post-processing operations. Geometrical aspects or measurement are not the subjects of this document.

Purpose -

This document for the creation of seeded replicas supports the user’s understanding not only for the characterization of actual flaws with respect to physical morphology but also for the materials and mechanisms of formation, location, and orientation. In addition, the fundamentals of the processes creating the replica (e.g. PBF or DED with regard to the heat sources electron beam (EB), laser beam (LB) or PA (arc processes) also need to be considered). The intentional seeding to produce flaw replicas should match the character of the actual flaw as closely as possible.

If you have any comment or need more information, please contact Sami Ortiz at