Importance of Industrial Robot Periodic and Preventive Maintenance


ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: BOBBY COLE | July 22, 2019

Having a system breakdown is a nightmare for any business. To ensure small damages are caught before a costly breakdown occurs, maintenance is vital. In the world of service and repair, many kinds of maintenance exist. The experts at RobotWorx recommend Periodic and Preventative maintenance to maximize the performance of any robotic system. 

Periodic Maintenance

The most basic form of maintenance, periodic maintenance, is a scheduled point in time that is suggested by the manufacturer in order to inspect and upkeep key components of your system. This type of maintenance is very simple and is used to insure the proper function of a robot on a day to day basis. This includes small tasks such as inspecting wire harnesses, tightening screws, lubricating joints and performing a full-backup on the work cell. Minor tasks like this will help prevent major issues from arising in the future.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a calculated schedule based on time, production, and the environment the robot operates in. The life cycle of a robot will be different depending on all of these variables. Preventative maintenance will take all of this into consideration and create a maintenance schedule that will extend the systems life to the fullest. 

Good Practices For Maintenance

Maintenance is only beneficial if the person doing the inspection is trained and prepared. When thousands or even millions of dollars are on the line, a fool-proof maintenance routine is important. 

Here are some good practices that our experts suggest you take into consideration:

  • It’s important to keep spare parts on hand for a quick replacement. Otherwise, you could be waiting days before you’re able to replace a part. 
  • Periodic maintenance is most commonly performed by trained operators who work with the system on a daily basis. This type of robotic maintenance usually only takes 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning or the end of a shift depending on how big the system is.
  • The perfect time for preventative maintenance is during scheduled holiday shutdowns. This avoids cutting into production time and minimizes the chances of a break down during production hours.
  • Major preventative maintenance repairs, like a grease/oil change or component replacement, should be done by a professional. The damages caused by these tasks not being done correctly can cause a huge financial blow to production.
  • The major item to focus on when performing preventive maintenance is the system’s grease. The grease in a system protects all the moving parts from friction and wear. Over time the grease starts to lose its viscosity due to heat and friction and needs to be replaced.
  • Grease and oil have a shelf life that’s provided by the manufacturer. Once grease or oil gets close to the end of its shelf life, the minerals start to break down and will cause the systems bushings and reducers start to wear down. RobotWorx has its own grease that is superior to the grease provided by the original manufacturer. Our Tribolube VG-1 is a lithium-soap-thickened synthetic grease with excellent extreme pressure, anti-wear, anti-rust, and oxidation resistance properties. Find out more details about this grease here
  • It’s important to have the designated maintenance personnel trained on preventive maintenance to decrease the odds of system failure.
  • When doing preventive maintenance, it’s very important to follow the manufacturer's specs, instructions, and timetable. The biggest cause of system failure is when a manufacturer's guide isn’t followed.

Conclusion

Staying on the Periodic or Preventive maintenance schedule will benefit the life of your system. It allows you to minimize downtime and make adjustments or repairs without losing production time. It is always best to have someone trained to do your preventive maintenance so that it is performed to the standards of the manufacturer. 

RobotWorx offers preventative maintenance services to make sure your reconditioning and repairs are all done correctly. To request more information on robotic maintenance, call us at 740-251-4312, or fill out our maintenance form

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