Replacing Robot Batteries
One of the most common questions that we get from customers is “what are the batteries in my robot and controller used for and how often should I change them?” this usually leads to “how do I change them?” The batteries in the robot and controller are both used to maintain stored data when the robot and controller are de-energized. However, the stored data is different between the robot arm and controller, yet equally important. Your maintenance manual should be consulted for the proper method of replacement.
The data stored in the robot arm is important for maintaining the encoder pulse values of each axis in the robot. This controls the robot’s positional data. If the batteries in the robotic arm fail, the robot would need to be remastered, if primary power is lost. Annual replacement, as preventive maintenance, will ensure batteries are charged and operating as required.
The batteries used in the robotic controller keep the internal memory stored when there is no power to the equipment. This includes programs, installed software, system variables, IO configurations, and more. The failure of these batteries would result in the loss of this data and hours of downtime to recover. Another precautionary step to take to prevent this would be to perform regular back-ups of the controller, as well as annual battery replacement as preventive maintenance.
When storing robots for long periods, it is important to have backups of the controller for any data that may be required later. Fresh batteries can be installed before removing primary power. However, this is not always necessary since the re-deployment of a robot requires some of the same steps that are needed in a dead battery situation.
The type of batteries used in your robotic system depends on the manufacturer and model that you are working with. Batteries can be as simple as a standard D cell or a specialized lithium battery with brand-specific connectors. It is imperative to consult your robot’s maintenance manual to confirm you have the correct batteries on hand before you attempt to perform a battery replacement. It is also crucial that you know the location of the batteries and how to replace them. This process can be found in your robot’s maintenance manual.
Keeping a strict battery replacement schedule, as prescribed by the robot manufacturer, is imperative to keeping your operation running without major downtime. If you need further assistance or need to purchase batteries for your robot or controller, contact RobotWorx, a certified integrator of FANUC, Motoman, ABB, and KUKA.