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Intelligent robot diagnostics

21 August 2018

FANUC’s Zero Downtime (ZDT) technology is designed to help production managers optimise, maintain and analyse the performance of their industrial robots, in real-time.

“Unexpected downtime costs manufacturers an estimated £4400 a minute,” explains 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 informs 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 by ZDT can help production managers to compile a detailed and accurate predictive maintenance strategy for their robots.

Capon adds: “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 your 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.

“At FANUC, we want to demonstrate the same level of validity and scalability in our software, as we do in our hardware,” Capon concludes. “This means that, regardless of whether you own one robot for machine tending or use multiple automated cells, you’ll still enhance your productivity and efficiency by adopting ZDT.”