Robotic technology has been a blessing to manufacturing for over 40 years. By using robot systems and work cells, industries like the automotive industry are able to build vehicles more efficiently than ever before. What once would have taken a manual operators an entire day to perform can now be completed in a fraction of a shift. This amount of uptime makes preventative maintenance vital to the functionality of the robot.
Since these robots are designed to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at full speed, they are engineered to require minimal maintenance. This decreases the amount of downtime necessary to perform maintenance. Also, there is a possibility that a robot can have too much maintenance performed, which will cause the robot to be over-greased. Adhering to a preventative maintenance schedule is just as important to the operation of your welding robot system as making sure that you use the proper grease. Plus, by continuing scheduled preventative maintenance can greatly improve the up-time and the performance of a robotic welding system.
There are a few simple steps you should check when running through the preventative maintenance schedule:
Replace welding liner weekly - With a welding robot, the most common wear happens in the welding liner. If your company is running your robot three shifts, the welding liner should be changed weekly to eliminate defects during operation.
Check for worn cables - Watch the robot run through the application and make note of any cables that are dragging, rubbing, touching clamps, or any moving along any other part of the welding cell or system. These could become costly problem areas for cable maintenance if not fixed. Worn cables should be replaced, and cables should be secured to cut down on excess wear and tear.
Check welding gun tips and nozzles – Welding gun tips should be replaced daily, and the nozzle should be checked for weld spatter that could buildup and cut down on welding functionality. Plus, a fresh contact tip on a welding torch will help to correct defects that may commonly occur during the welding process. You can also use soap bubbles to check for any shielding gas leaks in your system.
Overall, preventative maintenance performance is a vital part of owning and operating an industrial robot system or work cell, and a good maintenance schedule will ensure that your robot will last for many years.