How to Avoid the Common Mistake of Touching Up Points on a Robot
There are several different mistakes that operators can make when learning to operate a robot. Some of these mistakes are easy to avoid in a few simple steps. One of the most common of these mistakes is touching up points on the robot.
When a robotic welding application begins to produce defects, it is important to figure out what is causing the defect quickly so the problem can be corrected. There are a variety of steps that a programmer should go through to correct those defects. However, touching up points, which may be the operator’s first inclination, should actually be the last thing done to the robot. Since robots are accurate and repeatable within thousandths of an inch, if points are off, then something in the system has changed. Without figuring out what that change is, touching up points will not fix the problem.
Here are some steps to run through to find out why points may be off on your robotic welding system:
Troubleshoot the System – First, you have to troubleshoot your system. What is off – the robot, the tool, the part, or the tooling? Without this step, it will be hard to understand why the defect is happening.
Run the Robot at Datum Zero Point – So, how do you go about troubleshooting the system? Run the robot to a programmed datum zero point. This will allow points on the work cell to be checked, verifying that the validity of the robot’s alignment and ruling it out as a potential cause. If the robot misses a datum point, it could mean the welding gun or tool point is off, and the tool point bracket on the wrist should verify the tool point. If the robot hits the datum point, but misses the welding joint or part, the problem could lie with the parts or tooling, and not the robot arm itself.
Check the Master Part – The Master Part is a part that never gets welded or used. It is only used for programming purposes and verifying programs. When you use the master part, you will be able to determine if the points are missing alignment because of the part or the tooling. If the master part has all the points hit properly, then the problem is not the tooling. If the master part has all the points miss aligning, then the problem is either the external positioning of the part or tooling.
If you follow these steps, it will help operators prevent always touching up points when a defect occurs, and it will vastly improve the up-time and performance of your robotic system during operation.