Intelligent preventative diagnostics for industrial robot health

Louise Smyth

Downtime in industrial robots could soon be a thing of the past thanks to the latest intelligent diagnostics software from Fanuc. The new Zero Downtime (ZDT) technology allows production managers to optimise, maintain and analyse the performance of their industrial robots in real-time.

“Unexpected downtime costs manufacturers up to an estimated £4,400 a minute,” explained Steve Capon, Technical Manager at Fanuc UK. “By using ZDT, production managers can monitor their robots and take corrective actions before a potential problem occurs.”

ZDT works by collecting data on a robot’s mechanical, process, maintenance and system health. This data is then analysed comprehensively via a central server, which notifies a production manager of any issues and recommended corrective actions via a notification on their tablet or smartphone, regardless of their location.

In addition to faults, ZDT identifies areas in which a robot could be optimised, such as cycle time or energy consumption. Over time, the analytics provided can help production managers to compile a detailed and accurate predictive maintenance strategy for their robots.

Capon continued: “Data is the key to Industry 4.0, but only if it is harnessed correctly. Analytical tools like ZDT help production managers to make sense of the information that they’re given, by formulating it into a comprehensible report of performance trends, problematic areas, and recommendations.”

Depending on the requirements, ZDT can be used to monitor a variety of key performance indicators, including: reducers, torque, servo guns, grease levels and network load. ZDT is also scalable to any industrial robot configuration, whether that involves monitoring a single robot or collating the performance of every robot on the factory floor.