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Robotics

Robotic software improves robot health

Industrial robotic software, industrial networks and cloud-based technologies are helping to improve industrial robotic health, improve robotic uptime and better manage robotic assets.

By Mark T. Hoske August 2, 2020
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media and Technology

 

Learning Objectives

  • Robotics use sensors and data to interact with analytical software and dashboards for effective planning and maintenance.
  • Robot fleet data can be aggregated and analyzed over time.
  • Robots and other assets can use remote monitoring software and services.

Industrial robots are getting smarter about their own health. Robotics software, industrial communications and industrial networks among robots, and cloud technologies assist with remote diagnostics, analytics and maintenance. Use predictive maintenance, sensors, industrial networks and analytics to keep assets running safely without risk of extended troubleshooting and repairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robot condition monitoring, remote access, asset management

ABB Robotics and other plant assets can connect to the ABB Ability Connected Services, which the company says can result in up to 25% fewer incidents and 60% faster response time and measurable production increases. The company says more than 50,000 robots embed connectivity and 10,000 are using it. ABB MyRobot web application software delivers the cloud-based software. Services include condition monitoring and diagnostics, backup management, remote access, fleet assessment and asset management.

ABB Ability software can show key performance and diagnostic information for robotics and other plant assets, as shown at Pack Expo, September 2019. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media and Technology

ABB Ability software can show key performance and diagnostic information for robotics and other plant assets, as shown at Pack Expo, September 2019. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media and Technology

Robot diagnostics, robot uptime, robot fleet visibility

The Fanuc Field Service system offers more than 20 cloud-based software applications, some released and others planned, with functions including robotic diagnostics and maintenance. Fanuc offers hardware and software to support robots with software to help with predictive maintenance and with reducing down-time to zero. Fanuc describes its FIELD system (Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link & Drive system) as an open platform for the manufacturing industry that targets improvements in productivity and efficiency. Third-party developers can freely develop and sell applications and converters for devices. As various devices on the shop floor can be connected without barriers related to generation or manufacturer, centralized management of equipment and data and data sharing are enhanced.

Fanuc’s ZDT (zero down time) application collects and analyzes data to track each robot’s health and maintenance needs during production. The application notifies the user if action is required to prevent unexpected downtime. A web portal offers collective information about the robot fleet where across many locations. Beyond eliminating unexpected downtime, ZDT is designed to maximize throughput, optimize maintenance costs and extend robot life.

Other Fanuc Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offerings include an integration server to provide machine tool monitoring and simulation software for robot workcell setup.

Robot fleet status, robot analytics and robot motor temperature

Kuka AG (Midea Group of China is the majority shareholder) offers Kuka Connect, a cloud-based analytics and robot intelligence platform giving users access to robot data from any device anywhere. A data dashboard shows robot fleet status, historical analysis, and a robot axis motor heat map with live temperature readings in 3D visualization. Advantages include streamlined workflows related to robot maintenance, less robot downtime and optimized efficiency.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com, with information from the companies mentioned.

MORE ANSWERS 

KEYWORDS: Robotics, robot diagnostics, remote monitoring

CONSIDER THIS 

Isn’t it better to have critical assets such as robot let you know when maintenance and repairs are needed instead of unplanned outages?


Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.