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Condition-based maintenance service cuts robot downtime

01 February, 2021

ABB Robotics has launched a condition-based maintenance (CBM) service that allows robot-users to create preventive maintenance schedules for individual robots, or fleets of them, to optimise productivity and minimise downtime.

The service uses real-time data on robot operations – such as speed, acceleration, gearbox wear and duty – to help identify potential issues that could affect their performance. These variables are compared to other robots in ABB’s global database to calculate the likelihood and timeframe of potential problems.

The CBM tool can advise whether remedial action is needed, involving either the repair or replacement of parts. By identifying which parts are likely to fail and when, spares can be bought and prepared without having to hold them in stock, helping users to plan their budgets and to ensure that resources are available to carry out the work when needed.

Until now, it has been difficult for robot users to determine whether parts such as gearboxes were becoming worn or needed replacement. Problems either remained undiagnosed until a failure occurred, or parts were purchased unnecessarily or were not available when needed, disrupting production.

“By providing greater predictability around maintenance and repair schedules, our condition-based maintenance service allows customers to get the most from their installed robots,” says ABB Robotics’ head of product management, Antti Matinlauri. “Customers can now optimise their production efficiency by eliminating unexpected downtime caused by failures or delays in obtaining spare parts to fix a fault.

ABB new CBM tool helps to create preventive maintenance schedules for robots based on known performance

“Users will also gain a better understanding of exactly which robots may have an increased risk of component failure,” he adds. “For example, if they are over-utilised compared to others in a production line, or if heavy payloads are causing the robot to operate outside of its recommended design parameters.”

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