Robot Repair Services Information
Industrial robots are commonplace in today’s manufacturing environment. They serve one of two functions: bringing the part to the process—pick and place, the part loading and packaging robots perform in an accurate and repeatable manner, or bringing the process to the part, which is the function of painting, welding, and deburring robots. Industrial robot implementation is optimized for high-volume, repetitious, or dangerous operations that with human interaction may become imprecise, hazardous, or monotonous.
There are five common types of industrial robots. These include:
Articulated robots are the classic “armed” robots with several rotary joints that can range from two joints to 10 or more joints. Each joint is referred to as an axis and provides a degree of freedom of motion.
Cartesian robots are also called gantry robots with three linear joints (X, Y, and Z) and an attached “wrist” to allow for rotational movement.
Cylindrical robots have a rotary joint in the base and at least one linear, prismatic joint. They operate within a cylindrical-shaped work envelope.
Polar robots work in a spherical-shaped work envelope. To achieve this, the arm is connected to the base with a twisting joint and a combination of two rotary joints and one linear joint provides the balance of motion.
Delta robots are spider-like robots built from jointed parallelograms connected to a single base. The parallelograms move a single end of arm tool (EOAT) in a dome shaped application space. This industrial robot is capable of exact and delicate movement and is prevalent in the electronic, pharmaceutical, and food industries.
Since industrial robots often run on a 24/7/365 schedule, it is crucial that repairs are completed quickly and preventive maintenance guidelines are followed. A robot is assembled with numerous electronic and mechanical components that work in unison. Detecting and repairing faults can require great effort, and proper periodic, predictive, and preventive maintenance measures are highly important to avoid repairs that may be costly in terms of both expense and down time. Along with a wide range of electronic and mechanical components, software updates must be kept up to maintain the functionality of the robot current.
Robot failures are costly and difficult to diagnose. To avoid down time and repair costs, internal maintenance measures should be implemented to inspect electrical cables, hoses, flexible joints, seals, belts, and chains. System voltages and pressure differences across filters should be checked as well as the condition of hydraulic fluids. Routine maintenance tasks should include general cleaning, servo adjustments, and lubrication of slides, racks, ballscrews, bearings, gears, and chains. Tensioning of gears, belts, and chains should be checked along with periodic replacement of critical components such as filters, brushes, and tool tips. Maintenance logs should be kept with any performance trend notes.
If preventive maintenance cannot be done internally, there are companies that offer services specializing in providing preventive maintenance on robots and integrated robotic systems. Common preventive maintenance services include system testing, periodic inspections, cleaning, lubrication, and part replacement much in the way an internal system would handle it. Outside preventive maintenance service suppliers may also offer training services to employees to monitor certain robot aspects and functions between visits.
Even with strong and vigilant preventive maintenance efforts, failures may occur. When robot failures happen, 45% of the time it is attributed to positional errors, which are evident as poor quality work and also by collisions with workpieces, tools, and other robots. An additional 25% of the robot failure is attributed to failures of drive components such as motors and motor drives, shafts, gears, bearings, belts, couplings, and sensors. When repair is required, robot servicing is performed either on-site or the robot is brought to a repair shop. Robots are first inspected and then torn down. Different components of the robot are sent to specialized service areas where they are assessed, repaired, and tested. Typical robot system modules that may require testing and repair include servo amplifiers, teach pendants, circuit boards, power supplies, feedback devices, robotic wrists, servo motors, and drives.
Choosing the right robot repair provider is essential for quality service. It is beneficial to check for the history of customer support and to review client comments available on the Web to evaluate a robot repair service’s proficiency and client satisfaction. Individuals with some expertise in robotics may be tempted to repair and fix robotic faults on their own, however, having robots repaired by robot repair service providers helps protect robots from unseen problems and mitigate the risk of voiding existing warranties on the robot and its components.
VEX Robotics / CC BY-SA 2.0