Today, it’s very common to see robots in almost every manufacturing setting. They contain several moving parts and can continuously work for up to three shifts seven days a week. Robots are exposed to high speeds, friction, and heat, all while performing a variety of tasks such as die-casting, welding, grinding, and sanding.
With such flexibility, it is no wonder that Gartner notes the global robotic process automation market was valued at USD 1.57 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.8% from 2021 to 2028.
The Midwest seems to be the heart of much of this automation with Toledo showing a growth of 28%. Robots are an expensive capital investment for companies that require the appropriate level of preventive maintenance to ensure proper up times.
Does a Robot need Lubrication?
Having worked with an OEM client in the Automotive industry, LubriSource helped a robotic manufacturing company overcome its Bull Gears Challenges by developing a spray grease system to fine-tune spray duration and frequency for bull gears on a welding robot.
Robots, no matter how sophisticated they might be, need lubrication to effectively perform tasks. Not only is it important for daily operation, but it's also a necessary preventative maintenance practice that'll help your operation both in the long and short term.
General Rule of Thumb
This is all going to depend on the type of robot and your preventative maintenance practices. While you may be able to lubricate once a year with planetary gear reduction units, it's not a one size fits all concept.
According to Mike Ondrasek, grease servicing is generally recommended at about 6,000 servo motor power-on hours, although he noted that interval doesn’t fit all situations.
“This is like saying you should change your [car] oil every 6,000 miles—it is only the average safe recommendation,” Ondrasek cautioned. “If you drive very conservatively or race your car, you may need to change it less or more frequently. Our customers typically stick to a yearly maintenance schedule rather than trying to time by servo hours or adjust for a robot axis that works little versus very hard. Once a year is typical,” he said.
While you may be able to lubricate once a year with planetary gear reduction units, it's not a one size fits all concept. With this in mind, LubriSource offers maintenance services for greasing robots to fit your maintenance schedule needs.
LubriSource Greasing Preventive Services
With the workforce challenges of today, LubriSource serves clients in the Lubrications of Robots. Our services include:
- Take Sampling of Grease if Needed
- Pre Grease Inspection of all axis and function
- Replace grease for all axis
- Replace controller and robot batteries
- Post grease inspection of all axis
To ensure proper pressure and preservation of the robot:
The GP600 Gen 2 is a patent-pending 6-axis automated greasing system designed specifically for pumping and purging grease into industrial robots. It utilizes industry-standard systems and is designed to safely administer and purge grease.
Less downtime, save money with the GP600 by Greasebots. It provides a complete robot greasing solution to your operation’s needs.
Primary Grease Used
Within the robotic industry, there are two primary types of grease used.
Molywhite - This mix of grease has excellent wear resistance which provides flow and improved efficiency.
Vigo – Mixture that is based on hydrocarbon and refined mineral oils. It’s a much softer alternative to the Molywhite mixture, and, it may very well provide for better performance of robots to take place. This smoother option contains large levels of extreme pressure and can lead to an extended lubrication life.
As with anything, read your manuals, establish a system, and call your lubrication partner to ensure that your robots are properly cared for and can last efficiently for as long as possible.
For more information on how we can help with your robot needs, contact us today for assistance from one of our lubrication experts!