Robot Power On Hours vs Running Hours
Most types of machinery utilize some form of a numeric measurement as an indicator for the use, condition, and maintenance needs of the machine. For vehicles, mileage is the main tracker while industrial robots utilize hours.
Hours can be used as a reference for the condition, wear and tear, reliability, and maintenance of a robot. There are several different types of robot hours, but the two most often referenced are power on hours and running/operating hours. Below is a look at the difference between these two types.
Power On HoursPower on hours are the robot hours that are the most commonly referenced. Power on hours track the total hours that a robot has been powered on and accumulate throughout a robot’s lifetime. This includes both when the articulated robot has been productive and when it has been idle. For instance, if the FANUC R-2000ic/165F is idle in between cycles, but still powered on, the idle time will be factored into its power on hours along with the hours spent performing applications. Robot power on hours are tracked through the robotic controller.
Power on hours are often referenced for used robots as they can be indicative of the condition of a robot as well as wear and tear. Newer robots are likely to have fewer power on hours than older robots such as the Motoman EA1400N. However, just because a used robot may have high power on hours does not mean it is in bad condition or will not last. Since power on hours include both active and idle time, a higher hour robot does not mean it has been used excessively. Robots that are well maintained can last for well over 100,000 hours. When looking for a used robot it is important to inquire about the power on hours of the robot, but buyers should not be alarmed if the hours are high.
Running HoursRobot running hours differ from robot power on hours in that they only track the active hours of the robot. If the FANUC Arcmate 120ic spends 5 hours in production and 1 hour idle, the 5 hours it was active will be tracked in its running hours. While the 6 total hours it was powered on will go towards its power on hours.
Robot running hours are mainly tracked for the purpose of scheduling preventative maintenance. Most robot manufacturers recommend maintenance take place when a robot reaches a specific number of running hours. For instance, the FANUC M-10ia needs maintenance every 3,850 hours as recommended by FANUC. Tracking the running hours of a robot ensures users maintain a routine preventative maintenance schedule. Once maintenance has been completed, the robot running hours can begin tracking towards the next maintenance. Some robotic manufacturers use servo hours instead of running hours for maintenance scheduling, but robot run time is the most common.
While there are other types of robot hours, the power on hours and robot run time are the most familiar. However there two are often confused with one another. The main difference to remember is power on hours include both active and idle time while running hours only include active time.