Those same ‘Recovery’ calibration tools allowing one to maintain a robot-cell’s initial Absolute Accuracy (see “Maintain your Robot’s Accuracy throughout Production”) offer an additional critical benefit: reduce robot downtime – following a sudden tool crash, replacement of a worn out transmission mechanism, replacement of a robot motor, etc. – to a minimum!
The AutoCal™ and the AccuBeam™ systems are In-Line Recovery Calibration solutions for the automatic detection and immediate correction of any possible change of the robot and/or its end-effector right within the production line. Both these products include a ‘Quick Check’ function, for constant monitoring of the accuracy of the robot’s TCP performed during the transfer of parts along the production line – therefore not impaction production cycle-time. That way any issue gets detected before causing irremediable damage to the produced parts.
Then, if an accuracy issue has been unveiled during the Quick Check procedure, recovery of the TCP (x,y,z and orientation) or zero-mastering of the robot joints will be automatically initiated. The time required for such recovery is generally well below a minute. Communication between the AutoCal/AccuBeam system and the robot is fully automatic, through a mini-PC. The new TCP values are thus updated on the robot controller, with no human intervention (if so desired); update of the robot’s joint-mastering generally requires pressing some buttons on the teach-pendant (per the robot manufacturer’s instructions).
Further communication between the robot controller and the PLC can be set up, if desired, to control a variety of parameters, such as how often to run Quick Check, how to act in response to the errors (different levels) reported by AutoCal/AccuBeam system, under what conditions to stop the line, etc. In any case, tools such as the AutoCal and the AccuBeam systems guarantee that, if something happens to the robot or its end-effector, the production line will be up and running again in the shortest possible amount of time.