When it comes to robotic systems, collaborative robots offer the best path to getting a healthy return on investment. This is because these robots tend to be more affordably priced. Their flexibility also ensures that at any given time, an owner can count on finding a task or application that the cobot can do. As a result, over its lifetime, a single cobot can be part of a sustained series of productivity-boosting activities that enhance the overall productivity of a facility.
However, in order to get the most out of a collaborative robot, it is imperative that the robot is properly maintained. In most cases, the most effective maintenance routines are those that are preventative in that they help to ensure that they step in before the robot falls apart. These preventative maintenance procedures usually improve the overall lifetime of a robotic system and as such ensure that the owner has a healthy period within which they can reap all the benefits that come with automation.
Therefore, if you want to prolong the lifespan of your robot, you need to take routine preventative measures that are designed to keep it from falling apart. The following is a list of common preventative steps that are guaranteed to ensure that your robot functions as effectively and efficiently as it should for years to come.
Cleaning optics and sensors
A collaborative robot is only as effective as its sensors and components that allow it to see. When these parts get clogged with dirt or debris, the ability of the cobot to complete its tasks will be compromised. This is because the cobot relies on these parts to be able to move, pick up things, drop them, or do any other thing that it is programmed to do.
Furthermore, since the ability of a robot to adjust its speed or force when a human being approaches is tied to its ability to see, dirty sensors or optics can compromise the safety of the cobot. This will make the robot unsafe, and will thus cause it to lose the quality that is mainly responsible for the widespread adoption of these robotic systems.
To ensure that your robot works as well as it should, and to guarantee the safety of your employees, it is important to ensure that you clean its sensors and any other component that helps with its vision. Doing this daily, in addition to visually checking for any physical damage to these parts, will prevent accidents and injuries in your facility.
Wiping or replacing the robot controller’s cooling fans
Airflow is important for the robot controller simply because it ensures that the controller does not overheat. Anything that disrupts airflow to this unit is therefore detrimental to your cobot’s lifespan since it leads to overheating. And since electronic components tend to wear out or get damaged when they overheat, anything that can prevent it will certainly increase the lifespan of the unit, which will, in turn, extend the lifespan of the robotic system.
To make sure that there is efficient airflow in this unit, always clean its fans. Doing this after every 3 months is recommended. And if you notice that the fans are worn out or inefficient after a prolonged period, you can always replace them.
Inspect your cables and bolts
The cables that run to and from the mechanical unit serve an important role. When these cables develop severe kinks, are improperly terminated, or when they have tears in their insulation or become compromised in any way, they will affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the cobot. Therefore, it is always advisable that you inspect these cables on a regular basis in order to keep them from getting damaged. Doing so will help to ensure not only that you keep the cables from getting extensively damaged, but also that you extend your robot’s lifespan.
Loose external mounting bolts are a common problem that always causes robots to operate inefficiently. This problem can also affect your robot’s accuracy, something that can have devastating consequences if you operate in an industry that prioritizes precision. As a result, it is always recommended that you regularly inspect your robot’s end of arm tool to make sure that its screws and bolts are properly tightened.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!