Optimizing Your Robot’s Operation
Implementing robotic automation will optimize any manufacturing process. Industrial robots are consistent, durable, and fast which helps turn inefficient applications into efficient ones. While articulated robots will improve manufacturing there are ways to optimize your robot’s operation to ensure you are maximizing the benefits of robotic automation. Below is a list of ideas for optimizing your industrial robot.
Ensure Your Robot Meets Application RequirementsWhen selecting an industrial robot, you will need to ensure the robot selected will be compatible for your application. The robot’s payload, reach, axes, and structure need to be sufficient for your production process. Selecting a robot with less or more payload than you need can significantly hinder its operation. For instance, if you were automating a heavy lifting application you would need a high payload FANUC M-900ia, not a low payload M-20ia. The same goes for reach and axes. Your robot needs to be able to access the full scope of the work envelope in order to operate effectively.
Implement a Preventative Maintenance ScheduleAll six axis robots require routine preventative maintenance to ensure they stay in top condition. Implementing a maintenance schedule will allow you to stay on top of any potential issues before they become major repairs or interfere with the robot’s operation. Preventative maintenance provides a tune-up for your robot and gives you a chance to inspect it for any damaged or worn parts. It also may be helpful to keep spare parts on hand, especially those that are prone to wear like cables. Stocking spare parts allows for damaged or worn parts to be immediately replaced, preventing any downtime. Not only will preventative maintenance optimize your robot’s operation, but it will also keep it running for several years.
Train EmployeesTraining your employees that will be responsible for your robot’s operation is key for ensuring it is running at its full potential. Employees should be trained on programming, safety equipment, robotic peripheral equipment, maintenance, and robot safety standards. The more familiar they are with the robot, the more likely they will be able to detect issues and correct them to ensure accurate robot performance.
Integrate a Vision System or SensorsIntegrating a robotic vision system or specialty sensors, such as force sensors, can enhance your robot’s accuracy. Vision systems provide robots with sensory feedback through sight, allowing them to automate more complex applications and optimize their operation. Integrating the FANUC Lr Mate 200id with vision enables it to adapt to changes dynamically instead of needing to be reprogrammed with each change. Force sensors provide robots will the sense of touch which is beneficial for finishing or assembly tasks. Force sensors allow the Motoman MH12 to gauge the correct amount of pressure needed for polishing parts, preventing damage or inconsistent finishes.
Ensure Work Area is SufficientNot having a sufficient work area for your robot can impede its operation. If the robot’s workspace is too dense then you will run the risk of interference from peripherals, decreasing the robot’s accuracy and causing inefficiencies. For those with limited space there are compact, short arm, or ceiling mounted options. The Universal UR10 can easily be integrated into any workspace with its compact footprint and various mounting capabilities.
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