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Condition-based maintenance for robots
07 April 2021
ABB’S NEW Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) service enables robot users to create a preventive maintenance schedule for individual or robot fleets based on real-time operational data, to optimise productivity and minimise downtime.
CBM uses real-time data on robot operations to help identify any potential issues that could affect performance, including duty, speed, acceleration, and gearbox wear. These variables are compared against other robots in ABB’s worldwide robot database to calculate the likelihood and timeframe of a potential fault or failure.
Aimed at customers with large fleets of robots, ABB’s CBM tool can advise whether remedial action is required, involving either repair or replacement of affected parts. By identifying which parts are likely to fail and when, spare parts can be purchased and prepared without having to hold them in stock, helping users to plan their budgets and ensure that resources are available to carry out the work when required.
Previously, it was difficult for users to determine whether key parts such as gearboxes were becoming worn or in need of replacement. This meant that problems were either undiagnosed until a failure, or parts were purchased unnecessarily or were unavailable when needed, disrupting production while the robot is offline.
The new CBM tool gives customers the insights they need to create a preventive maintenance schedule based on known performance to help keep robots in good working order and to maximise performance. Monitoring also minimises the likelihood of premature failure and extends the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rate, as well as prolonging the operational life of the robot.
To help customers decide which preventive measures to take, a report is provided for the robot, including its serial number, summary table, data analysis, individual maintenance recommendations, conclusions, and rating of the system. Using this data, the customer can then design an appropriate maintenance schedule, with help available from ABB if required.
“By providing greater predictability around maintenance and repair schedules, our condition-based maintenance service allows customers to get the most from their installed robots. Customers can now optimise their production efficiency by eliminating unexpected downtime caused by failures or delays in obtaining spare parts to fix a fault,” says Antti Matinlauri, Head of Product Management for ABB Robotics. “Users will also gain a better understanding of exactly which robots may have an increased risk of component failure, for example if they are over-utilised compared to others in a production line, or if heavy payloads are causing the robot to operate outside of its recommended design parameters for example.”
The condition-based maintenance service is the latest in a suite of services offered by ABB to help its customers get more from their robots. ABB’s comprehensive services cover a range of areas, from installation and commissioning, repairs and replacements, spares and consumables to robot care packages.