Industrial Robot Operator Station Options

Apr 18, 2017

The external control panel for a robotic system that runs the workcell is called an operator station. This is an essential part to an automation system as it enables buttons to control the complex robotic system, helping increase the ease of use while also reducing the overall errors. There are user-friendly interfaces that allow companies to train their employees in just a few days, and sometimes even hours! Contact today to decide which operator station is best for you.


An oper­a­tor sta­tion or ops sta­tion” is an exter­nal con­trol pan­el for a robot­ic sys­tem that runs the entire work­cell. The robot­ic oper­a­tor sta­tion is an essen­tial part of any robot or work­cell, giv­ing staff sim­pli­fied push but­ton con­trol of a com­plex robot­ic sys­tem, reduc­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty for errors. Once the robot is pro­grammed with the teach pen­dant, the oper­a­tor sta­tion can be used to call up spe­cif­ic jobs or stop the sys­tem in an emer­gency.

Run­ning a robot­ic sys­tem may seem like a com­plex task, how­ev­er oper­a­tor sta­tions pro­vide user-friend­ly inter­faces that enable com­pa­nies to train their employ­ees in a mat­ter of days, and some­times hours, on an entire work­cell, even if the employ­ees have no pri­or expe­ri­ence with robotics.

The design on the ops sta­tion can vary but gen­er­al­ly will fea­ture 6 to 9 but­tons that will start the cycle, hold the cycle, turn the ser­vo motors on or off, select the job to run, reset the safe­ty faults, and stop the sys­tem in an emer­gency. Dif­fer­ent oper­a­tor sta­tions are used for dif­fer­ent sys­tems and robots. Some are stan­dard push-but­ton types, while oth­er oper­a­tor sta­tions include more com­pli­cat­ed inter­faces and mon­i­tor-like screens.

Robots​.com pro­vides oper­a­tor sta­tions for Fanuc, Motoman, and ABB robot­ic sys­tems. Each oper­a­tor sta­tion can be job spe­cif­ic, but for a stan­dard, they are still robot specific. 

For a Fanuc robot sys­tem, the 6 and 9 but­ton oper­a­tor sta­tions have 4 stan­dard but­tons, regard­less of the cell. The oth­er two can be spec­i­fied by the cus­tomer or left blank. The stan­dard 4 but­tons con­sist of:

(1) Emer­gency Stop- Kills all pow­er to the cell, includ­ing the robot

(2) Fault Reset- An alarm press­es that the robot sees, tied in cir­cuit to the teach pen­dant and will reset the fault

(3) Hold But­ton- Will hold the robot in a non-emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, will bring robot to a nice slow coast to a stop

(4) Cycle Start- Starts the Robot Program

If there is any safe­ty on the sys­tem, then the 5th but­ton will be a manda­to­ry Safe­ty Reset. 

(5) Safe­ty Reset- Per­tains to all safe­ty, any time safe­ty is vio­lat­ed, light will come on and the but­ton needs to be pressed when safe­ty has been cor­rect­ed, allow­ing the robot to con­tin­ue to run

For a Motoman robot sys­tem, there are also 6 and 9 but­ton ops sta­tion to choose from, and a 5 stan­dard but­tons, regard­less of cell. The stan­dard 5 but­tons that are includ­ed with the Motoman ops sta­tion are (1) Emer­gency Stop, (2) Reset, 3) Hold, 4) Cycle Start, and 5) Ser­vo On. The last but­ton is cus­tomer spe­cif­ic or left blank.

There are a vari­ety of oper­a­tor sta­tions to choose from, all in which make run­ning a robot­ic work­cell as sim­ple as push­ing a but­ton. Robots​.com pro­vides solu­tions from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent robot­ics com­pa­nies, includ­ing Fanuc, Motoman, KUKA, and ABB. Our staff will work with you to help you build and design the per­fect work cell for your facil­i­ty and bud­get. For more infor­ma­tion about addi­tion­al oper­a­tor sta­tions and/​or indus­tri­al robots, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

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