In the age of Industry 4.0, nobody can avoid predictive maintenance. Nabtesco, world market leader in the field of robot gears, is therefore working on solutions for real-time monitoring of robots using digital gear models . The goal: predictive maintenance concepts for maximum efficiency and maximum robot availability.
For robot gearsthere are usually fixed maintenance intervals. After a certain time or a certain period of operation, they are replaced – regardless of the actual wear. Depending on the application requirements, duration of use and field of work, however, the gearboxes are exposed to different loads in practice. The stress on the individual axles is also not the same. This is where Nabtesco comes in with its project to develop predictive maintenance concepts. The project is still in the early stages, but the potential is enormous.
Transmission data directly from the manufacturer
As the first transmission manufacturer in roboticsThe cycloidal gear specialist and world market leader in the field of robot gears opens the black box gear and provides robot manufacturers with a Nabtesco add-on for the robot control gear-specific data and characteristics. The goal: A digital replica of the haptic gear with its relevant properties. For future real-time monitoring of robots, Nabtesco’s real serial number-related digital gearbox properties are of central importance, because they enable an individual snapshot of the robot utilization and thus an analysis of the remaining service life of the individual gearboxes.
Needs-based maintenance thanks to condition monitoring
You should work with values that are already available. The speed and torque curve, in combination with empirical values from more than 35 years of gearbox development, allows detailed conclusions to be drawn about the condition of the gearbox and thus its remaining service life. With permanent monitoring of the cycloidal gears , maintenance could be as required. Imminent failures could be identified early, service calls could be planned, maintenance costs would be reduced and unplanned machine downtimes could be avoided. As a result, production processes would be more efficient and productivity higher.
Software instead of sensors
Compared to external sensors, the software-based solution offers numerous advantages, including cost reduction, reduced system complexity and better data quality. Another point: Not all data can be recorded using external sensors. This applies, for example, to the rigidity – and of course the empirical values from development. Nabtesco carries out extensive tests before a gearbox comes onto the market and therefore knows exactly how the gearbox behaves when it wears out or what influence temperature and lubricant have. All of these parameters should be included in the robot control.
Smart cycloidal gears for IIoT applications
With the planned digital services, Nabtesco has the digital gearbox twin in the robot control in mind and opens up innovative perspectives for modern maintenance concepts in the sense of Industry 4.0. The project is currently in the development phase. Two levels are planned: a Nabtesco add-on with generalized data of a specific transmission model and an additional upgrade for even greater accuracy with the specific data of the transmission ultimately installed.