Robot Maintenance: Grease and Robotic Gears
Grease allows industrial robotic arms to function properly, smoothly, and withstand wear. Replacing robot grease is an important part of preventative maintenance and should be regularly scheduled according to the manual of your specific robot brand and model.
Greasing Robots with Planetary Gear Reduction Units
Different greases are used for different mechanical components and different maintenance tasks. Robots with planetary gear reduction units require grease replenishment every year. This process involves pumping the old grease out of the gear by inputting new grease into the unit. Planetary gear reduction units also require re-greasing when they are replaced.
MolyWhite, a heterogenous mixture of grease and oil, has long been a standby for lubricating robotic gears. It is important to know that the oil tends to separate from the mixture and leak out of the seals, which are designed to keep out grease, not oil. The breakdown of MolyWhite robot grease can be caused by heat and other factors. A lot of times, the oil leaking gives the impression that the seals are broken, but they are actually fine.
This Japanese robot grease aims to eliminate some of the issues associated with previous robot grease options. While it contains many of the same ingredients, Vigo grease is less viscous than MolyWhite and is reported to offer superior performance. Many manufacturer are switching from Molywhite to VIGO grease because it contains a larger quantity of EP (extreme pressure) additives such as Mollybdenum and Zinc compounds.
RobotWorx has its own line of robotic greases (to include variants of MolyWhite and VIGO) that include synthetics to enhance performance and longevity of the robot. We have worked with engineers specializing in aerospace grade oils and lubricants to create a higher grade grease for industrial robots. This particular oil undergoes higher levels of inspection and scrutiny, ensuring the best quality.
One example of a high performance RobotWorx lubricant is the RWVG-1, also called RW Tribolube VG-1. It is a lithium-soap-thickened synthetic grease that is designed to perform well under extreme pressure and heat. It's oxidation resistance properties make it rust resistant and able to undergo more wear and tear before needing replacement. The base-oil consists of synthetic hydrocarbon oils & mineral oil.
Greasing Other Robot Components
A few other robot components also require greasing. For bearings and link arms, the "wheel bearing grease" Alvania EP-2 is typically used. Robots with harmonic drives rarely require grease replacement. However, when required (perhaps when a motor is replaced), a thicker grease is used.
Robot Grease Schedule
Without the proper robot grease, reduction gears can break down and jam. Keep scheduled reminders to check gears and preventative maintenance checks to extend the life of your robot. Always follow the guidance provided in your specific robot manual. RobotWorx offers various robot grease options in a selection of sizes.
Are you looking to recondition or maintenance your robot entirely? We offer 3 levels of reconditioning service options to get your robot back in tip-top shape.