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Preventative Maintenance for Industrial Robots


Every robot needs preventative maintenance ensure top-level performance and consistency on the production line. When robots do not have regular preventative maintenance checks performed, it can cause parts and components to break down or malfunction, which can cause a slowdown or shutdown of your production. Industrial robots that are properly maintained can last for many years, even decades, before needing to be replaced. By keeping a regular preventative maintenance schedule, you are extending the life of your robot exponentially.

Different robotics companies recommend different amounts of time between preventative maintenance. For example, FANUC Robotics states that planned preventative maintenance for your industrial robot should be performed every 3,850 hours or 12 months, whichever comes first for your robot. However, KUKA Robotics recommends preventative maintenance after 10,000 hours for their robots. It is important to check the manual for your specific robot to see what time frame is best.

No matter what length of time your manual recommends, by scheduling maintenance in this way, you are able to prevent costly downtime that is unplanned due to mechanic issues. While planned maintenance may shut down production for a short time, it is nothing compared to the production time you may lose if your robot stops working.

So, what takes place during routine preventative maintenance checkups? Here are some procedures suggested by companies like FANUC and Motoman Robotics:

Backing up the controller memory

Monitor robot in regular motion, inspecting robot, harness and cables

Inspection of brake operation

Check robot repeatability

Listen for excessive audible vibration and noise

Grease joints, according to specific robot manual (or analyze grease if already performed)

Visual inspection of teach pendant and controller cables

Check cable connections, cooling fans, power supplies, safety equipment, and other equipment for functionality

Test and replace RAM and APC batteries, if required

If any further action is required and the robot needs repairs, the technician should report the issues so arrangement can be made to make the needed repairs.

RobotWorx, a certified integrator for several different robotics companies – including FANUC, Motoman, Universal Robots ,KUKA, and ABB – has a team that will make sure you know all the ins and outs of your industrial robot maintenance plan so that you are able to get the best performance and consistency from your robot.

For more information, contact RobotWorx today online or at 740-251-4312.