Industrial Robot Maintenance: Summary of the Main Points

The use of industrial robots in the manufacturing industry is increasing, mainly in relatively harsh conditions, or occasions with higher work intensity and continuity requirements.

The failure rate of branded robots is lower, so it is more widely recognized.

However, even though industrial robots are better designed, more integrated and have lower failure rates, they still require regular routine inspections and preventive maintenance.

Common robots include: serial manipulator, Cartesian-coordinate robot, Delta parallel robots, scara robots and automatic guided vehicle etc.

The maintenance in this article mainly focuses on the manipulator.

Industrial Robot Maintenance

I. Main body maintenance of industrial robots

1. General maintenance

1) Washing manipulator

Clean the robot base and arms regularly;

High-pressure cleaning equipment can be used, but direct spray to the manipulator should be avoided;

If the manipulator is protected by a grease film, remove it as required.

(Strong solvents such as acetone should be avoided. Plastic protection should be avoided. To prevent the generation of static electricity, non-conductive surfaces such as spray equipment, hoses, etc. must be wiped with a soaked or damp cloth. Do not use dry cloth.)

2) Cleaning and maintenance of hollow wrist

According to the actual situation, the hollow wrist needs to be cleaned frequently to avoid the accumulation of dust and particles.

Clean with lint-free, clean cloths.

After wrist cleaning, a little vaseline or similar substances can be added on the surface of the wrist, which is more convenient for later cleaning.

3) Periodic check

Check for oil leakage;

Check whether the gear clearance is too large;

Check whether the cables between the control cabinet, purge unit, process cabinet and manipulator are damaged.

4) Check the fixed bolt

The fastening bolts and fixing clamps that fix the manipulator on the foundation must be kept clean and should not be in contact with corrosive liquids such as water, acid and alkali solutions.

If the anti-corrosion protective layer such as galvanized layer or paint is damaged, the related parts need to be cleaned and coated with anti-corrosion paint.

2. Shaft brake test

During operation, each axis motor brake will wear out normally.

To determine whether the brake is working properly, a test must be performed at this time.

Test method: Check the brake of each axis motor as described below.

1) Run the manipulator axis to the corresponding position, where the total weight of the manipulator and all loads reach the maximum value (maximum static load);

2) Power off the motor;

3) Check whether all axes are maintained in their original positions;

If the manipulator does not change its position when the motor is powered off, the braking torque is sufficient.

It can also move the manipulator manually to check whether further protective measures are needed.

When the mobile robot stops in an emergency, the brake will help to stop, so wear may occur.

Therefore, repeated tests are required during the service life of the machine to verify whether the machine maintains its original capacity.

3. System lubrication

(1) Lubrication of gear pair and gear

Make sure that the robot and related systems are closed and locked.

Squeeze a little (1g) grease into each choke and lubricate the gear pair grease nozzle and each gear grease nozzle one by one, but do not overfill to avoid damaging the seals.

(2) Hollow wrist lubrication

For 10 lubrication points in the hollow wrist, each grease nozzle only needs a few drops of lubricant (1 gram).

Do not overfill too much lubricant to avoid damaging the wrist seal and internal sleeve.

4. Check the oil level in the gearbox

Due to different positions in lubrication openings, it needs a specific check, and some need to be rotated in a vertical state and then open the cover to check.

5. Maintenance period

The time interval can be adjusted appropriately according to environmental conditions, robot operating hours and temperature.

1) General maintenance frequency: 1 time/day.

2) Axis brake test: 1 time/day.

3) Lubrication of 3-axis gear pairs and gears: 1 time/1000H.

4) Lubrication of hollow wrist: 1 time/500H.

5) Lubricant in each gear box: change it in the first year, and every 5 years change it after that.

II. The maintenance of the system control cabinet

1. Maintenance checklist

1) Check the heat dissipation of the controller

  • It is prohibited to cover the controls with plastic or other materials.
  • Leave enough space between the back and side of the controller (>120mm);
  • It is strictly forbidden to locate the controller close to the heat source;
  • It is strictly forbidden to put debris on the top of the controller;
  • Avoid controller too dirty;
  • Avoid one or more cooling fans not working;
  • Avoid blockage of fan inlet or outlet;
  • Avoid air filter cloth too dirty;
  • When the controller is not performing work, its front door must be kept closed.

2) Cleaning the teaching device

The teaching device should be cleaned at an appropriate frequency based on actual needs;

Although the panel paint film can withstand the corrosion of most solvents, it still needs to avoid contact with strong solvents such as acetone;

The teaching device should be removed and placed in a clean place when not in use.

3) Clean the inside of the controller

The inside of the controller should be cleaned at appropriate intervals according to environmental conditions, such as once a year;

Special attention must be paid to the cleaning of the cooling fan and the air inlet/outlet.

Use a dust-removing brush when cleaning, and use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust.

Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean the components directly, otherwise it will cause an electrostatic discharge and damage the components;

Before cleaning the inside of the controller, be sure to cut it off!

4) Clean or replace the filter cloth

To clean the filter cloth, it is necessary to clean the filter cloth 3-4 times in 30-40℃ water with detergent.

The filter cloth must not be wrung out, it can be placed on a flat surface to dry. You can also blow clean the filter cloth with clean compressed air.

5) Replace the battery regularly

The battery of the measurement system is a disposable battery (non-rechargeable battery);

When the battery is replaced, a message appears in the message log.

After the message appears, the battery power can be maintained for about 1800 hours (it is recommended to replace the battery when the above message appears).

The battery only works when the control cabinet is “powered off”.

The battery life is about 7000 hours.

If the control cabinet controls the CBS unit in addition to the robot, or in the case of an 8-axis robot, the battery life is half as described above (using 2 SMU units).

6) Check the cooler

The cooling circuit adopts a maintenance-free closed system design, and each component of the external air circuit needs to be regularly inspected and cleaned as required;

When the environmental humidity is high, it is necessary to check whether the drain outlet regularly drains water.

2. Maintenance frequency

The time interval can be adjusted appropriately according to environmental conditions, robot operating hours and temperature.

1) General maintenance: 1 time/day;

2) Cleaning/replacement of filter cloth: 1 time/500H;

3) Battery replacement of the measurement system: 2 times/7000H;

4) Replacement of computer fan unit and servo fan unit: 1 time/50000H;

5) Check the cooler; 1 time/month.

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