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.
RobotWorx 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. RobotWorx is a certified integrator for several different robotics companies, including FANUC, Motoman, KUKA, Universal Robots, 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 RobotWorx online or at 740-251-4312.