Take Advantage Of Holiday Shutdowns By Scheduling Your Robotic Preventative Maintenance
To stay competitive in the global market, automated factories rely on planned shutdowns that can include solid preventative maintenance, process improvements, and/or robot upgrades. Any scheduled break requires meticulous planning and coordination. If able, money can be saved on overhead expenses if the scheduled break can be timed during the holidays. This allows specialized crews the ability to perform the routine maintenance, process improvements, and new robot installations while the usual production workers and managers are absent.
When preventive maintenance shutdowns are not performed, robot parts and components can break down or malfunction causing an even greater shutdown of production. Proper maintenance and robot analysis will be hugely beneficial for a business year after year. Each robot manufacturer recommends different preventative maintenance cycle so be sure to check the manual for specific robot needs.
Here are a few items that are suggested for the most effective shutdown:
Select a Decision Maker: There should be one person selected to plan the shut down and see it through. This is the person that will make all the final decisions, keep the project on budget, and do what is necessary to follow through with the plan.
Communicate a Clear Plan: Incredibly specific goals with action steps should be in place and discussed long before the shutdown is taking place. Each person should be aware of their specific responsibilities from a detailed logistical workflow that is handed out to the staff.
Proper Training: Any staff responsible for scheduled robot maintenance should be given the best training and tools to successfully complete the job. If there are any external technicians or contractors required to aid in the shutdown, be sure to schedule them 6-8 months in advance.
Proper Inventory: It is beneficial to stock spare parts to avoid lead times for parts delivery. If you do not have spare parts in stock, make sure you complete the order months in advance. RobotWorx takes pride in helping to fulfill those hard to find items. We have thousands of new and reconditioned robot parts in stock. Most orders have same day shipment available and are backed by our full-replacement 30-day warranty.
Common items to consider for robot maintenance include:
- Controller CPU battery (replace every three years)
- Controller air filter (replace annually)
- Controller fan unit (replace every three years)
- Gaskets / Gasket covers (replace ever three years)
- Connectors (replace as needed)
- Seals (replace as needed)
- Cables (check for wear frequently - replace as needed)
- Teach pendants (test frequently - fix and replace as needed)
- Gear oil (replace every other year)
- Grease for bearings and other pertinent parts (monitor often and re-grease as needed)
Grease Analysis: Each axis should be consistently checked and re-greased when necessary. Well lubricated axes help to control friction, vibration, and heat. Ensuring proper iron levels with a grease analysis is important for identifying potential problems and preventing costly repairs. A spike in the iron content can be reflective of a potential drive problem so performing this analysis before a planned shutdown helps decision makers properly plan.
Plan for Next Time: All the managers, decision makers, and staff should take notes during the procedure and discuss what worked and didn’t work. These lessons will be invaluable for the next scheduled shutdown.
Being proactive in managing risks by taking care of robot maintenance or upgrades can be the difference between you and your competitor! Excelling at maintenance and planned shutdowns will ensure maximum performance, return on investment, and costly unplanned downtime.