What are the Different Robot Hours?

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
One of the reasons industrial robots are considered a good investment is because of their long lifespans. Industrial robots that are well maintained can operate for hundreds of thousands of hours. This is why robot hours are commonly referred to as opposed to the age of an industrial robot, similar to how mileage is used for cars. Robot hours are a good measurement of the robot’s condition as they can be indicative of wear and tear, shelf-life, maintenance needs, and the robot’s reliability. Robot hours can fall under a few different categories. The following is a breakdown of the different robot hours and their meanings.

Operation Hours

Operation hours are the robot hours that are most commonly referenced. Operation hours are the total hours a robot has operated in its entire lifespan. They are typically referenced when buying or selling used robots as they can be used as an indicator of the condition and lifespan of a robot. For instance, on a listing for a used FANUC Arcmate 120ic/10L, the operation hours may be listed as 20,000.

Many also believe operation hours are indicative of the wear and tear on a robot, but that is not always the case. Operation hours can also include the total time a six axis robot has been powered on and not necessarily running. Industrial robots can operate for over 100,000 hours when well-maintained, so just because a robot may have high hours it is not necessarily an indication of excessive wear and tear. It is also important to note the hour meter is typically located on the controller of the robot. When looking to purchase a used robot, a buyer should ask if the controller or robot have ever been exchanged because the operation hours listed on the controller may not be accurate for that robot.

Running Hours

The running hours of a robot reference the amount of time a robot has actually been in use. The running hours of the Motoman Ma1400 indicate how much time it has spent performing an arc welding application. Robot run time is important to track for preventative maintenance reasons, the same way car mileage is tracked for routine oil changes. Conducting routine preventative maintenance keeps industrial robots in optimal condition and extends their shelf life. Maintenance intervals vary by manufacturer. FANUC recommends their robots including the FANUC R-2000ib, receive maintenance every 3,850 hours.

Servo Hours

Servo hours refer to the number of hours the servo amplifier of a robot has been running. The servo amplifier is used to power the servo motors. Servo motors convert rotational motion to linear motion with precision and power. Each joint or axis of a robot will have a servo motor attached to it to power its motion. Tracking servo hours is also important for maintenance needs and can be indicative of when a servo amplifier may need to be replaced to ensure the most precise operation of your robot.

Waiting Hours

Some articulated robots may also track waiting hours. Waiting hours reference the amount of time a robot is powered on, but idle. Tracking waiting hours can help give users a better understanding of the robot’s operational hours as well as how efficient or inefficient a production process is.

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