The Changing Regulations Impacting Manufacturers Series

Derek DeGeest, President of DeGeest Corporation and LestaUSA, successfully brought self-learning robotics to their finishing operation, but it was no small feat. Navigating U.S. manufacturing hazardous location regulations’ dicey waters with this new technology wasn’t easy, but DeGeest accomplished it and is now creating certified solutions for other manufacturers.

For this second part of a series on the impact of changing regulations on manufacturers, Manufacturing a Stronger Standard focuses on robotics in a Class I, Division 1 environment and how DeGeest was able to help our country move forward with accessible robotic systems for other general industry manufacturers.

“It was a totally unexpected journey,” DeGeest said. “We went from bringing a new robotic technology to our manufacturing facility to understanding how to successfully help our company and others put a self-learning robot into a Class 1 Div 1 environment in North America and how different it is from the rest of the world.”

The curveball came when DeGeest said their  company was ready to go live with their new paint system and  ATEX certified robots. The electrical inspector said, “Not so fast.”

“We had to dig in and learn and find out how to adapt to North American requirements and the changing regulations that were happening,” DeGeest said.

With perseverance to get it right and work with regulators to update the codes, DeGeest now has one of the largest contract job shop, self-learning robotic painting systems in North America.

Today, DeGeest builds, designs and installs Class 1, Division I robotic finishing systems for their customers. “We build them how we would use them because we are in their same shoes.” said DeGeest.

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