Assistance from a distance

2013-06-27 - ABB's Remote Service helps monitor the health of robots from anywhere in the world
Robots are now found in most of the world’s industrial applications, working around the clock, day in and day out. While robots are proven to be incredibly reliable and robust, sometimes maintenance issues can lead to production stoppage— which means lost revenue—so keeping these robots performing at their peak efficiency is of vital importance to the economic health of a business. As such, every company that depends on robots should be asking this question: what will we do if a robot malfunctions?

The goal of ABB’s Remote Service is to eliminate, as much as possible, any unplanned stoppage by continuously evaluating the performance of ABB robots using a wireless Remote Monitoring System. This service enables a malfunctioning robot to set off an alarm and request help itself. The ABB service support centre then receives complete diagnostic information via wireless technology, analyses the data on the Remote Service portal and a service specialist responds with support in just minutes.

In addition to the ability to predict failures, the remote support tool enables engineers to troubleshoot problems quickly. With the help of the robot service assessment module, Remote Service generates a preventive maintenance schedule on the basis of actual usage and also provides a back-up scheduling system, saving critical robot control and program software at planned intervals to any available storage location. This unique service is paying off for customers and ABB alike, and in the process is revolutionising the way we think about service—meaning a shift away from scheduled maintenance to a focus on usage-based maintenance.

ABB’s remote monitoring solution is offered as part of the ABB Robot Care service level agreement, and is aimed at securing the highest possible robot performance and productivity.

The built-in monitoring unit provides immediate information about the status of the robot, ensuring potential failures are spotted and corrective actions are taken quickly to keep critical robots in operation.

ABB’s remote monitoring service offers these features and support through three specific avenues:

Remote support
In up to 50 percent of all cases, remote support gets robots back online without the need for a site visit from a specialist. In addition to remote support, proper training of maintenance staff and the availability of on-site spare parts are key elements to fast failure recovery. With the experience of over 200,000 robots installed around the world, ABB is able to provide users with sound and cost effective advice.

Robot service assessment
As part of the remote monitoring service, a site audit establishes a baseline for how a robot is used in its environment. With the help of a special software tool a detailed assessment report with a maintenance recommendation is generated. In this way, maintenance costs and effort can be reduced by 20 percent or more.

Remote condition monitoring and prediction
Instead of tedious inspections or analysis, Remote Service monitors key parameters over time to automatically identify trends, predict potential failures and, when necessary, notify the robot user and the ABB support centre about any issues or actions needed. The aim is to prevent unplanned stops and provide the customer with peace of mind.

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