Questions to Ask About Robots you are Buying
The use of industrial robots is on the rise. Robots are one of the smartest investments as they provide a wide range of benefits. In order to fully capitalize on the benefits of robotic automation it is important to select the right robot for your production. Below is a list of the top questions to ask about the robots you are buying to ensure you find the best robotic solution, whether it’s your first robot or your fiftieth.
- 1. What is the cost of the robot? The cost of the robot should be one of your first questions to ensure the robot you are considering is within your budget. New robots will be more expensive than used robots. A used FANUC Arcmate 120ic can be 40% to 60% less than a new Arcmate 120id. Used robots are a good option for those with tight budgets.
- 2. What is the condition of the robot? It is important to know the condition the articulated robot is being sold as to make sure you are getting the best value for your money and that there are no surprises. Is the robot brand new, used, reconditioned, or in poor condition?
- 3. Does the robot have any missing parts? This question pertains to used robot purchases. The seller should be upfront with you to let you know if the used robot is missing any parts such as the controller, teach pendant, cables, etc. Buying a used robot with a missing teach pendant can allow you to get a better deal, but you will need to keep in mind you will need to source a compatible pendant and endure an additional cost.
- 4. Does the robot come with additional equipment? It is good to know if a second hand robot is being sold as part of an entire robotic system. Buying a Yaskawa Motoman MA1440 as part of a complete welding package will be more expensive than just the six axis robot itself but may be more affordable overall than buying each component separately and will save time from sourcing compatible equipment.
- 5. What applications can the robot automate? You want to make sure the robot you are considering is capable of automating your application. If you are automating a palletizing process you wouldn’t want an arc welding robot, instead you would need a FANUC M-410ib/160 or similar.
- 6. Do the robot’s specifications fit your application? You also want to make sure the robot’s payload, reach, etc. will be suitable for your application requirements.
- 7. Is the robot suitable for your work environment? You also want to ensure the robot can operate effectively in your work environment. Those with hazardous work environments will likely need an IP67 rated robot. While those working with food or electronics may need a cleanroom robot.
- 8. What are the robot’s operation hours? It is good to know the operation hours if buying a used robot. However, robots with high hours are still good options and shouldn’t be passed up.
- 9. Will the robot be compatible with your pre-existing system? If you are buying a robot to replace another you will want to check it will be compatible with any pre-existing equipment such as power supplies. This will ensure a smooth transition and avoid having to replace additional equipment.