Category Archives: Robotics

Kawasaki E3/E7/E9 Controllers

Being a leader of the robotics industry for over 50 years, Kawasaki has developed one of the most complete lines of e-controllers on the market. All of these controllers are suited with a wide array of features including:

  • High powered CPU performence
  • Large, easy to use LCD Display
  • Optimized key layout
  • Easily accessible safety switches

The E76/77 family of controllers are very compact and used for smaller robot arms. One of these arms are the RS003N Robot, which has a maximum payload of 3kg and has horizontal and vertical reaches of 620mm and 967mm, respectively. The controllers with these robots specialize in assembly and material handling applications.

The E9 family of robotic teach pedants are also built very compact, however these devices are typically used in medium-duty applications. Unlike the other two families of controllers, the E9 family features an open structure system with a direct cooling system. However, like the E7 and E3 families, the enclosed structure with indirect cooling is an available option. The E9 family takes full advantage of the digital servo drive powering it to have a maximum payload capacity of 40kg.

E30/32/33/34 controllers at their base are very alike the E76/77 controllers but with more power. These devices are not as compact as the previous devices we have discussed, however the reason being they are highly expandable and are easier to maintain. Features such as Kawasaki’s K-Logic sequencer software allow the addition of up to 16 total controllable axes. The E3 family of Kawasaki e-controllers are able to handle the following maximum payloads:

  • E30 – 145 kg
  • E32 – 180 kg
  • E33 – 195 kg
  • E34 – 180 kg

If you are interested in learning how to purchase the robot arm, the controller, or any other part/device that goes into an industrial robotic set-up, please call MRO Electric and Supply at (800)691-8511 or email us at sales@mroelectric.com and we will help you get what you need.

3HAC028357-001

ABB Robotics 3HAC028357-001 Teach Pendant

The 3HAC028357-001 is a modern ABB Robotics Teach Pendant designed to be used with the IRC5 Industrial Robot Control, one of the most popular robotics controls on the market. Also known as the “FlexPendant”, the 3HAC028357-001 is characterized by its clean, color touch screen-based design and 3D joystick for intuitive interaction.

The 3HAC028357-001 TPU (or teach pendant unit) is a hand held operator unit used to perform many of the tasks involved when operating a robot system: running programs, jogging the manipulator, modifying robot programs and so on.

The FlexPendant is designed for continuous operation in harsh industrial environment. Its touch screen is easy to clean and resistant to water, oil and accidental welding splashes.

 

ABB FlexPendant

 

The 3HAC028357-001 replaces the legacy 3HAC023195-001 teach pendant.

The standard cost for a new ABB 3HAC028357-001 direct from the manufacturer or authorized distributor is typically in the $6000-7,000 range. MRO Electric is able to supply these pendants at a much lower price point, and we warranty all of our robotics parts for 12 months.

If you would like a free quote on a replacement ABB 3HAC028357-001, please email us at sales@mroelectric.com or call 800-691-8511.

Motoman Teach Pendants And More

Yaskawa Motoman, an American subsidiary of Yaskawa Electric Corporation, was founded in 1989 and since then have been able to get over 380,000 industrial robots, 10 million servos, and 18 million drives into automation systems around the world. Robots are the wave of the future and Yaskawa Motoman is at the top of this market. Using an automated robotic system in your work space will allow you to free up many other costs and resources that may not have been available before.  The key to efficiency is simplicity and using  Motoman Teach Pendants to give instructions to your robot makes that possible.

Teach Pendants are non-tethered devices that allow your robot to be controlled remotely. These devices are crucial for industrial robotics as they are not only used for assigning operations but they are able to edit commands, emergency stop commands, and even view past operations. Motoman Teach Pendants are split between the older models(ERC, XRC, MRC) and the newer models(DX and NX Series’).

MRC

The older models such as the MRC, which came out in 1994, were able to increase the workload of an industrial robot by up to 300%. This was also the first time ever that a single teach pendant was able to control two robots at the same time. Four years later when the XRC model was released, it was a huge improvement as Motoman was able to add control of more axes and even up its synchronous control of two robots to four industrial robots.

nx100

Later in 2004, the NX series of controllers was released. These devices featured Windows CE with a high-power processor, back-lit color touchscreen, built-in ethernet, and a huge amount of memory. A single teach pendant can control up to 36 axes and 4 separate robots. It’s Advanced Robot Motion control allows for the most accurate results. For information about the DX series, please visit one of our previous blog posts featuring the DX200 controller and Yaskawa’s new ArcWorld project.

KUKA Controllers

KUKA Error Codes

The list below contains common KUKA Error Codes. These codes are applicable to all KUKA controllers, including the KRC1, KRC2, KRC3, and the KRC4.

Common KUKA Error Codes

  • Error Code 14 – SOFTPLC: @P1@
  • Error Code 284 – Accu–voltage at <kps number> below <voltage level> during last buffering
    • Cause
      • The accu voltage was too low at the last switch off to buffer the
        shutdown.
      • The accu is not charged correctly anymore.
      • The accu is to old or broken.
    • Effect
      • Eventually loss of reference.
      • Cold boot.
      • Active commands inhibited
    • Remedy
      • Exchange accu.
  • Error Code 310 – Safety Circuit for drives not ready
    • Cause
      • Safety circuit is telling drives not to move.
      • Faulty X11
      • Faulty ESC board
      • Faulty KPS 600
    • Remedy
      • Check ESC monitor and other messages to narrow down the root cause with the safety circuit
      • Replace faulty components
  • Error Code 364 – Unknown operation mode
    • Possible Cause
      • Faulty KPS 600 Drive
    • Remedy
      • Replace KPS 600
  • Error Code 420 – Local protective stop (QE)
    • Possible Cause
      • Faulty KPS600 Drive
    • Remedy
      • Replace KPS600
  • Error Code 1033 – ERROR ON READING, DRIVER: ** **
  • Error Code 1034 – ERROR ON WRITING, DRIVER: ** **
  • Error Code 1133 – GEAR TORQUE EXCEEDED AXIS
    • Cause
      • The calculated gear torque is larger than the maximum permissible gear torque.
    • Monitor
      • Cyclic in interpolation cycle.
    • Effect
      • Motion and program are stopped.
    • Remedy
      • Reteach points.
  • Error Code 1239 – ACKN. SYNCHRONISATION ERROR DRIVE
  • Error Code 1376 – ACTIVE COMMANDS INHIBITED
    • Cause
      • A message which causes the active commands to be inhibited has been set.
    • Monitor
      • In command processing.
    • Effect
      • Command is not executed.
    • Remedy
      • Acknowledge active messages in the message window.
  • Error Code 2029 – SYNTAX ERROR IN KUKA MODULE
  • Error Code 2135 – NAME NOT DECLARED AS SUBROUTINE
  • Error Code 6502 – Error during reading INI file init/iosys.ini 1
    • Remedy
      • Check iosys.ini file
      • Ensure correct DeviceNET driver is installed
      • Check data cable between robot / cabinet
  • Error Code 10053
    • Remedy
      • Check fan to ensure it isn’t vibrating. This could be causing the Mfc card to move into the motherboard’s slot.

 

MRO Electric carries replacement KUKA Robotics parts such as teach pendants, drives, motors, and more. To request a quote, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

KUKA teach pendant

KUKA Teach Pendants

MRO Electric and Supply distributes a variety of KUKA Teach Pendants for KRC1, KRC2, and KRC3 controls. We also can supply the new KRC4 smartPAD. The smartPAD pendant  is the latest type of KUKA teach pendant, designed to allow users to perform even the most complex operating tasks with ease – even those with little experience.  It features an 8.4″ display size with a industrial touch screen.

KUKA smartPAD Teach Pendant

The ergonomic design of the KUKA smartPAD creates a pendant with reduced weight and an anatomically comfortable operation. It can be used to operate all KUKA robots that have a KR C4 controller. Its 6D mouse allows for movement and reorientation of the robot on all axes.

All smartPADs are programmed using the KRL – KUKA programming language. This easy to learn robotics language is very intuitive, and can be used to create customized robotic motions with ease. You can also synchronize your programming with up to 6 KUKA robots. The other major benefit of the smartPAD teach pendant is that  it can be hot swapped at any time from a KR C4 controller – just simply plug it in and use.

Legacy KUKA Teach Pendants

MRO Electric also distributes a number of legacy KUKA teach pendants. We recognize that there are still a variety of older KUKA controllers still in use today. Rather than having to upgrade your control system when one of your pendants fail, we can ship you a replacement pendant to minimize any downtime.

If for some reason our stock is depleted, we can usually repair your KUKA pendant in as little as 3-5 days. Visit our main KUKA product page to see all the KUKA teach pendants that we can supply or repair.

For more information or to request a quote on a replacement pendant or panel, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

KUKA Robot Arms | Available Now at MRO Electric and Supply

KUKA Robot Arm


Electronic Tutorials and Robotics Guide

MRO Electric and Supply distributes a variety of new and refurbished KUKA Robot arms.

We repaint and rebuild all of our refurbished robotics arms, as well as purge and replace the grease according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

We supply KUKA arms and wrists from a number of robots, including the following:

  • KR15
  • KR30
  • KR100
  • KR150
  • KR200
  • KR350
  • KR3
  • KR1000
  • KR10
  • KR16
  • KR120
  • KR60
  • KR140
  • KR360
  • KR16-2
  • KR30-3
  • KR90
  • KR180
  • KR60
  • KR500
  • Any Many More!

 

Most KUKA robotic arms are made up of 4-6 joints, and can be used for many different applications such as welding, material handling, material removal, and more.  Most KUKA robot arms are made from aluminum is built from the base up, ending with the wrist and whichever end effect is needed to help the arm perform its given application. KUKA was one of the first companies to use aluminum in robot arm design, which makes KUKA manipulators one of the fastest and lightest on the market.They also introduced a horizontal balancing spring on axis 2 before the other robot manufacturers, a design that has now been widely adopted.

Their large arms are typically used to lift heavy payloads are sometimes ran by hydraulic and pneumatic methods.

KUKA is known for their orange arms that have been used to build cars for Tesla and Porsche. They were also seen in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day.

MRO Electric and Supply has a warehouse full of many types of KUKA arms and wrists. Give us a call today if you need a replacement and we can usually ship you one same-day! You can also email sales@mroelectric.com for a quote.

 

Factory Automation and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Advances

fanuc robotics

 Factory Automation and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Advances

As technology evolves, automation has become more and more prevalent in the factory automation space. Machine-to-machine enables private and exclusive communication and control over sensors, cameras, industrial equipment, robotics (check out our FANUC Robotics parts) and essentially anything else. Manufactory facilities and several other remote systems are managed much more easily with machine-to-machine advances in communication.

Initially, with industrial and enterprise applications as a focal point, machine-to-machine communication was easily defined and used for a limited amount of tasks. Nowadays, there are many fewer limitations associated with the machine-to-machine communication.

Pressured to lower costs and improve speed and overall efficiency, factory automation companies are often in an uncomfortable spot. While using high-end, sophisticated automation applications and tools, more real-time data must be obtained to streamline more of the day-to-day operations and tasks. Implementing machine-to-machine solutions can help with operational efficiency gains, time and cost savings, and performance optimization.

From a cellular standpoint, machine-to-machine solutions enable integration of environmental controls into a single system, and to unify with security and video surveillance systems. All and all, companies are able to secure several properties from anywhere they wish to, even as they fine-tune power efficiency and decrease operating expenses.

Due to the immense increase of machine-operated plants in companies who rely on keeping critical assets and functions performing optimally, several companies are exploring options associated with a machine-to-machine communication. Of the many benefits, the fact that it’s able to deliver remote access to gather real-time process data to cut operation costs is often one of the most well-recognized. The ability to identify and rectify production line faults, or design and implement preventative maintenance strategies, for example, is what machine-to-machine communication is designed for.

Involving data exchange over the telephone line or via the internal with machines, plants, computers for issue detection, diagnostics, and repair, teleservice is an imperative aspect of machine-to-machine communication. Offering an optimal answer to diagnose distant systems, teleservice is becoming more and more popular and is not going anywhere.

Telecontrol, another aspect of machine-to-machine communication, deals with connections of distant process stations to one or more central control systems. Many networks, both public and private,  can be used for communication used to control. For these diverse applications and businesses, cellular M2M connectivity can address many business and technical challenges and enable important benefits.

MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished FANUC Robotics parts available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Additionally, M2M systems can be designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and easily manage and control connected devices across the country or around the world. M2M systems provide flexibility to move equipment as needed, or bring up and tear down systems quickly for temporary or seasonal deployments. By using modern M2M management and application platforms, and taking care to choose platforms designed to meet real-world requirements, organizations can take full advantage of the M2M revolution.

In case you were wondering, machine-to-machine systems are indeed designed to withstand environmental conditions and easily control connected devices in any location. They are flexible and can move equipment with ease. In order to use machine-to-machine communication optimally, look into management and application platforms. Click here to view our article on IT and Robotics.

Boosting Factory Automation Productivity

fanuc cnc

Boosting Factory Automation Productivity

In the factory automation space, productivity is much more than an imperative management concept; it is a scalable tool that drives employees and processes to be functioning at their best. In order to keep employees on track and enable goals to be met in the workplace, fine-tuning processes and running a ‘tight ship’ as far as time management is concerned is considered best practice.

As far as work is concerned, understanding where to start is the first, and often, most difficult step. Understand what may set your company back, whether it be a worn down motor (such as a FANUC CNC Motor) not performing up-to-par, or a poorly-maintained Servo Amp (such as a FANUC CNC Servo Amp).  Missing expectations due to a faulty machine is avoidable, as seen in this article focusing on Maintaining Automation Machine Tools.

To ensure your teams’ insights aren’t hindered, consider documenting priority-oriented processes such as customer service, client retention, and cutting operation costs, that way, more focus can be put toward improving workflow, coaching employees and pinpointing other areas that could be improved on. Take industry benchmarks into consideration; they can be used as a point of reference to determine if an area can be improved in, or if it’s already up-to-par. Along with documenting the aforementioned processes, keeping track of progress and growth can also aid in fine-tuning.

In order to remain on the same page with employees, ask for their buy-in and try to understand where they’re coming from. They may help shed light on problematic areas such as why certain departments aren’t working as closely together as they could be, or if downtime could be minimized by having two departments working together more effectively. By making employees feel valued and trusted, a company is less likely to run into honesty issues, communication issues and/or issues with collaboration. The foundation for productive operations starts with an honest, well-communicating team. Teams need to have an in-depth understanding of where they’re expected to add value and, of course, what the company is working toward as a whole. Eliminating clutter in order to have a well-focused and productive team is an achievement that most of those in the factory machine automation space don’t lose sight of. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished FANUC CNC parts available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

These days, there are shortcuts and tools for essentially any and every niche. Many of those in the machine and factory automation space are focusing on robotics (see FANUC Robotics parts) to explore ways to automate processes in hope of enhancing productivity. Be sure to stay ‘in the loop’ when it comes to tools that could enhance one’s productivity through collaboration, etc.

 

Gathering Information Before Considering a Repair

fanuc repair

Gathering Information Before Considering a Repair

Downtime is inevitable when it comes to machine automation. When production stops, orders will likely stack up quickly, hitting start on the ‘profits lost’ clock. After the failed part is identified, many machine automation professionals would lean towards shipping the flawed part to get serviced as soon as humanly possible. While MRO Electric and Supply appreciates the business, we want to ensure our customers are as well-informed as possible and able to fix issues of their own, is able to.

By grouping observations together and looking at them closely,  many of those in the machine automation space may find that the issue can be fixed internally, rather than sending a part out to another party. Be sure to press the in-house employees for details, as someone on the clock may have witnessed the failure first-hand and would be able to provide more intimate and valuable insight as far as what may have happened. Any way to avoid a future issue is worth exploring!

As many know, factory automation machines consist of several interconnected parts and components. Because of this, it’s important not to overlook related issues that have occurred or may occur. If a drive (such as a FANUC Robotics Drive)  were to fail, best practice would be to send it along with the motor it’s connected with to preventative maintenance to be checked together. By consulting with the machines’ operators, you may find that other parts could be sent to preventative maintenance along with motor (such as a FANUC CNC motor)  and drive. Keep in mind, certified experts will likely be able to point machine details out that others may not recognize or think of. Nobody wants to run into an issue, fix said issue, and run into it again, due to lack of attention to detail.

Whether you have only two wires to unhook or twelve hundred, document everything. When you uninstall the damaged unit, label your wires. Be sure what you are using is sturdy and will remain affixed. Do not use tape that will slip off with grease or dust. Also, take before, during and after pictures of the operation. These pictures can save you from a tremendous headache later on. Also, when possible, make sure to save any parameters and record any settings before the unit has been taken out of service.

By documenting all of the parts or wires that had to be disassembled as specifically as possible, you would likely be avoiding many headaches. Nobody wants to disassemble a section of a machine, later to discover a wire or bolt is misplaced, which would lead to dreaded downtime that everyone in the factory automation and manufacturing space dispises. Don’t be afraid to take a video or several photos of the disassembling process; in-depth videos or even photos are often invaluable to refer back to, especially when in a rush or a busy time of the year.

In order to make your time count with the service center, be sure to prepare your explanation on a written or typed document. If there’s a possibility of more than one employee communicating with the service center, ensure they’re up-to-speed with all details that may be of help to fixing the issue or issues at hand. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished parts available now, and also offers repair pricing. Be sure to check out our core exchange program to learn how to save. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Be sure to avoid shipping damage by packing the part or parts securely and appropriately. Nobody wants a quick and painless fix to turn into an extended fix due to laziness or lack of initiative to research correct packaging processes. Most units need 3-5 inches of packaging insulation on all sides, to ensure rough handling won’t damage the part or parts. Check out our other articles focused on robotics here.

 

 

 

Workforce Automation and Robots

FANUC Robotics

Workforce Automation and Robots

Automation has been in mind for not just decades, but centuries. Whether we’re talking about those who worked in flour mills or those who dealt with windmills, automated processes have always been on inventors’ minds. While automation would technically result in job losses, the increased prevalence of robots and robotics parts (FANUC Robotic Parts found here)  in the manufacturing, packaging, and engineering space would result in interesting implications for consumers, employees, companies, organizations, etc.

Does Workforce Automation Result in Job Losses?

Many are convinced that automation will come and take over a majority of the work done by humans in the next few decades, and some feel as though their jobs are safe. Let us take China for example. China is one of the most dominant manufacturing hubs in the world, supplying a huge chunk of the world’s electronics products. Over the past few years, Chinas’ factories cut human workforce by an astounding average of 50%, due to the increased prevalence of robots.

Are there Advantages of Workforce Automation?

Although there is definitely a negative side of workforce automation, do positive sides exist? Customers could experience, to an extent, cheaper and more effective services and products. This would be due to the cost savings of the autonomous robotics, which yield a one-time fee along with other basic upkeep costs. Lower production costs would also make it possible to build items in the U.S. vs overseas, which many would prefer.

 Automation Limits?

There are limits to mostly everything, and automation is no exception. Short product life cycles that quickly become obsolete and ability to entertain fully-custom projects do not fit into an automation system. For example, paying for a large number of robots to build an electronic product that will become obsolete in less than a year would not be a smart decision from a business standpoint. The ability to be flexible and custom is imperative when concerning several products in several different markets.

What does Second Machine Age Mean?

Robotics in machine automation is becoming a larger part of the workforce as time goes on. Some companies plan to simply increase production levels with the help of robots and robotics parts while keeping their employee count the same and reassigning their workers to other positions within the company. With the addition of robots and robotic parts in the workplace, workers will be needed to maintain robots, calibrate and monitor them, analyze data and more.

The rise of robots and robotic parts is unavoidable in several niches. Today’s technological prosperity is changing tomorrow’s workforce for good. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished FANUC Robotics parts available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Lastly, be sure to check out our articles on boosting factory automation productivity here.