How to Grease Your Industrial Robot

Feb 17, 2015

Over time, the oil and grease in a robotic system begin to break down and so they need to be replaced. It is important to check the color of grease at least once a month. After around 500-700 hours, it is time to change the oil on your robotic system.


The impor­tance of chang­ing and main­tain­ing the grease in your robot is sim­i­lar to impor­tance of chang­ing the oil in your vehi­cle. Over time, oil and grease both break down, los­ing their vis­cos­i­ty and effec­tive­ness in your robot/​vehicle. You wouldn’t let your car run for a year or two on the same oil, just like you shouldn’t allow your robot to run two years with the same grease…unless you plan to buy a new robot every two years.

After 500 – 700 hours, the grease in your robot will begin to break down, which can be rough on the joints and impact the robot’s per­for­mance. If the robot is used dai­ly, the col­or of the grease should be inspect­ed once a month, to check the col­or and consistency.

Before start­ing to grease your robot – read your spe­cif­ic robot man­u­al for infor­ma­tion on your robot mod­el. The man­u­al will give you infor­ma­tion on dif­fer­ent types of grease, which is impor­tant, because not all of your joints will run on the same type of grease. If you do not read the ser­vice man­u­al and fail to grease your robot prop­er­ly, it could void the robot’s war­ran­ty, as well as caus­ing slow­downs in your pro­duc­tion due to bro­ken seals or mal­func­tion­ing parts.

While every robot joint needs to be greased, the sec­ond and third joints on your robot may be the dirt­i­est because they move the most. While all robot joints have an in plug, only those with gears will also have an out plug – like the sec­ond and third joints on most robots. What kind of grease should you use to grease joints? Check your robot man­u­al, as men­tioned above, but many robots use VIGO grease, a syn­thet­ic grease that does not break down as eas­i­ly as oth­er types of grease on the market.

So, now that you’ve read your man­u­al and pur­chased your grease, what do you do? First, you make your robot dance” – you turn it on and allow it to move in all direc­tions, with all axes mov­ing. This will soft­en the exist­ing grease, and make expul­sion eas­i­er. Remove the in and out plugs for your axes and allow the robot to con­tin­ue to move. If you do not keep the robot mov­ing, the old, dirty grease will set­tle into the bot­tom, and the new grease will glide over it, mak­ing it appears as if the process is com­plete. Then, when you run the robot, and check the grease a month lat­er, it may be black again. Once you have expelled all of the old grease, place a spot of grease over the out plug of the joint. If you are putting in new grease in the right area, a bub­ble should form over the out plug as air is pushed out of the joint. Once all of the new grease is added, you are ready to roll. Replace all of the plugs, and you’re set for the next 500 – 700 hours.

Are you inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about greas­ing your robot, or which robot grease is right for your robot? Then you should con­tact Robots​.com. We car­ry grease for ABB, Fanuc, Motoman, and KUKA robots, includ­ing VIGO grease.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Robots​.com today online or at 8777626881.

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