Category Archives: Robotics

Siemens’ Update Broadens Toolset for Digitization in Machine Shop Environments

Siemens CNC

Siemens’ Update Broadens Toolset for Digitization in Machine Shop Environments

The most recent update from Siemens’ NX software coalesces the next generation of tools concerning additive manufacturing, CNC (computer numeric control) machining, robotics, and, last but not least, quality inspection to enable the digitalization of part manufacturing within a single, cohesive end-to-end system.

Up-to-date automation competence for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), including robotic programming, adaptive milling, and tooling design, provide innovative, industry-specific technology to help deliver high-quality products to the market in less time. The new NX Machining Line Planner tool, combined with integrated NX CAM software for feature-based machining, provides new capabilities for industries with high-volume production of complicated parts, such as automotive and industrial machinery. The latest version of NX continues to support end-to-end solutions for additive manufacturing, helping manufacturers realize the goal of using 3D printing for industrial production.

Part manufacturers proceed to face increased pressures from modified market expectations, with customers who require optimized accuracy and faster response times. In order to remain competitive, many part manufacturers look to digitalization, which connects all of the steps of part manufacturing planning and production with a single source of information, or a digital thread. Implementing a digital strategy can enable part manufacturers of all sizes to take greater advantage of automation, adopt 3D printing for production, and ultimately expand into new market opportunities and reduce time to delivery.

State-of-the-art automation enhancements within the latest version of NX provide powerful ways to expand production efficiency and decrease cost. Robotic programming technology provides the ability to automate complete manufacturing cells, including programming robots to perform machining. Adaptive milling and tube milling are new capabilities that provide innovative ways to automate CNC machines and accelerate cutting of complex parts. Adaptive milling is a high-speed cutting method that leverages automation within NX to decrease machining cycles by up to 60 percent while extending tool life. Tube milling streamlines the 5-axis programming process by eliminating preparation and minimizing inputs, utilizing advanced capabilities to create ideal tool paths and minimize errors in machining on the shop floor.

Mold and die manufacturers can now accordingly dictate tool production costs through integration between NX and the Teamcenter portfolio. Engineers can now use NX to automatically recognize features and parameters on the desired part, and provide pertinent information to Teamcenter, which can precisely calculate the tool cost. The newly integrated capabilities of Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions can enable tool manufacturers to win more orders and increase profit margins through automated costing and accurate quotations.

New to this version, NX Machining Line Planner, combined with integrated NX CAM, enables the feature recognition, distribution, balancing, programming and simulation of operations over multiple setups and machines. Particularly helpful for industries with high-volume production of complicated parts with many features, NX Machining Line Planner uses a digital twin of the complete machining line and NX CAM feature-based machining technology to optimize the entire process. NX Machining Line Planner, combined with the power of the digital twin, offers a truly unique solution that enables automotive and machinery manufacturers to reduce planning time and increase overall production results.

The newest version also inflates the new additive manufacturing solution in NX by including the new module, NX AM for HP Multi Jet Fusion, which is certified by HP and powered by Materialise, to prepare print jobs for HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers. The NX software module will allow customers to develop and manage parts in a single software environment for Multi Jet Fusion printing solutions, avoid costly and time-consuming data conversions and third-party tools, and improve their overall design-to-finished-part workflow efficiency.

Additionally, Siemens develops applications for additive manufacturing process simulation in Simcenter 3D, a crucial tool to help manufacturers industrialize additive manufacturing by printing components the first-time-right. These simulation applications are an integral part of the Siemens’  additive manufacturing solution. Increasing productivity is one goal for most of those in the automation space (check out boosting factory automation productivity here). MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Siemens products available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

IT and Robotics

IT and Robotics

IT and Robotics

 

Information Technology involves storing, retrieving, altering and transmitting massive amounts of data.

Because IT is heavily reliant on computers, automating the field is definitely the most practical direction.

Slowly taking rein in the sector, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is terminating the manual effort associated with IT tasks and business processes.

RPA grips technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning and vision, big data analytics and, eventually, quantum mechanics, to complete several tasks.

There are two types of automated deployments:

  1. Simplified robots (such as FANUC Robotics products found here) that execute a script to recurrently execute a specific function.
  2. Cognitive RPA/software-based AI that learns the tasks they are presented with and learn how to make choices on their own.

Currently, large global IT and BPO (business process outsourcing) organizations are using lesser forms of RPA.

Using RPA enables organizations to provide IT services at higher efficiencies and minimize costs.

Utilizing RPA enables organizations to provide IT services at increased efficiencies while cutting costs.

Many say that a handful of companies are currently in the early stages of conducting RPA proof-of-concept trials, while some are entertaining production pilots.

Affected Areas

Many IT service lines are expected to come under RPA’s influence.

  1. Helpdesk is a field that falls under this category. RPAs could potentially automate non-ticketing activities that, as per IT reports, occupy 25% to 40% of a helpdesk’s tasks. Some of these tasks include monitoring, providing clarifications and reporting. As for ticketing, RPA could assist in automation common service requests such as password resets.
  1. IT infrastructure outsourcing is another area that is expected to be impacted by RPA. In this, robots (such as FANUC motors, amplifiers, and drives) could observe critical thresholds and, under certain threshold breach conditions, could even fix the issue.

Companies have already started to leverage RPA for many of their client projects.

Processes that mandate RPA include rule-based, high volume, several systems, repetitive tasks, data mining, or data entry tasks. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished FANUC Robotics products available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Automation Advantages

  1. RPA slashes labor costs immensely.
  2. The technology offers a less prying way for integrating systems because software AI access applications through the user interface.
  3. Robots would connect to various UIs, including legacy green-screen applications, and would not touch the underlying software.
  4. RPA projects require less time and money when compared to traditional automation.
  5. AI robots will provide better quality, faster processing times (within hours compared to weeks with manual approach), major improvement in traceability for audit purposes, and increased high-speed analytics.
  6. RPA would easily scale and address fluctuations in volume.

Feasibility

Automation projects, as per industry experts, should not take more than a year to complete. They would likely cost between half a million USDs to two million or more, depending on the number of robots and their complexities. Check out our article on factory automation and machine-to-machine learning here.

A06B-6105-H002

A06B-6105-H002 – FANUC Robotics R-2000iA Servo Amplifier

fanuc robotics

A06B-6105-H002 – FANUC Robotics R-2000iA Servo Amplifier

The FANUC A06B-6105-H002 is a servo amplifier used with the FANUC Robot Module R-2000iA. Usually, these amplifiers are factory set for operation, so you do not need to set or adjust them. However, if you need to configure or troubleshoot your A06B-6105-H002, please follow the instructions below. Take note that before touching your FANUC Robotic drives, you should always check the voltage at the screw above LED “D7” to ensure that the remaining voltage is not higher than 50V.

The following table highlights the various LEDs on the A06B-6105-H002 and their meanings.

LED Color Description
P5V Green Lights when the power supply circuit inside of the servo amplifier outputs a voltage of +5V normally.
P3.3V Green Lights when the power supply circuit inside of the servo amplifier outputs a voltage of +3.3V normally.
SVEMG Red Lights when an emergency stop signal is input to the servo amplifier.
ALM Red Lights when the servo amplifier detects an alarm.
RDY Green Lights when the servo amplifier is ready to drive the servo motor.
OPEN Green Lights when the communication between the servo amplifier and the main board is normal.
WD Red Lights when the watchdog alarm is detected in the servo amplifier.
D7 Red Lights when the DC LINK circuit inside the servo amplifier is charged to reach a specific voltage.

If you need to replace the A06B-6105-H002 amplifier on your R-2000iA, ensure that you begin by first turning off the control unit main power. Next, detach the amplifier cover and pull out the cable. Check the screw above LED D7 with a DC voltage tester to make sure the remaining voltage is not above 50V. Remove the two screws located on the top of the amplifier. At the middle top of the drive, there is an M5 screw that fastens the amplifier during the transport of the cabinet. After installation of the cabinet, remove the screw as this will help improve maintainability.

After these steps are complete, you can pull the amplifier toward you using the handles located at the top and bottom. Be careful not to touch any components on the lower part of the drive’s PCB, and try not to damage any cables routed under the amp when pulling it out. Use a slanted angle when pulling it out. MRO Electric and Supply has spare FANUC Robotics AC and DC Drives available. For more information or to request a quote, please email sales@mroelectric.com or call 800-691-8511.

You can easily install a replacement by reversing the steps above. Lastly, be sure to check out our other robotics articles

Yaskawa Motoman Swordfighter

Yaskawa Motoman Swordfighter

Industrial robotics is pretty under-recognized It’s easy to think they’re all about manufacturing. But just watch as Motoman-MH24 normally found assembling or packing products in a factory, takes on a new lease on its automation life and becomes a master sword fighter.

Motoman-MH24 is a 630-pound high-speed industrial robot made by Japan’s Yaskawa Electric Corporation. The Yaskawa Bushido Project is a short video clip showing Japanese master swordsman and five times Guinness World Record holder Isao Machii teach Motoman-MH24 the way of the sword. The company made this promotional clip to celebrate what they dub “manufacturing spirit” as they near their 100th anniversary.

To date, Machii has demonstrated some pretty radical feats with his blade: slicing a flying shrimp pelleted at him at 80mph in half, and a neon ball flung at him at 150mph – and these are just some of the things the dude can do.

The Yaskawa researchers examined Machii’s sword techniques in 3D. Next, they got Motoman to reproduce the very same movements, and the results are superb. In a showdown between master and robot-apprentice, the pair first demonstrates a four-directional cut in flawless sync. Then Motoman-MH24 reproduces each of Machii’s cuts down to a tee.

Things start really heating up when the robot actually looks like it’s gaining an upper hand over its human trainer. While Machii horizontally slices one orange, Motoman-MH24 takes down six in one fell swoop. The most epic scene is probably the one where Motoman splices a really thin pea pod in half.

While Machii looks visibly tired towards the end of the final “1000 cuts” scene, his mechanical counterpart could probably go on for at least an extra 100000.

Click to view our Yaskawa Drives and Controls currently for sale.

Restoring FANUC Beta Drive Parameters

fanuc robotics

Restoring FANUC Beta Drive Parameters

Some instructions to help out when replacing your drives and restoring the Fanuc beta drive parameters. With Beta series drives the parameters are stored in the drive so if you
replace the drive the parameters will go with it. MRO Electric and Supply maintains a comprehensive stock of new and used FANUC Robotics Drives parts. If you need a replacement part, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

To save and restore Power Mate CNC Manager parameters to Beta Servo Drives:

This is required when replacing a Beta drive and applies to the following
controls. 16iA,18iA,21iA,16iB,18iB,21iB,20i,16,18,21,0i,Powe rate-iD and Powermate-iH.

1. Make NC PRM 960.3 (PMN) = 0 (Enables PMM function).
2. Select where parameters are to be saved (to save to memory card on i series controls make PRM 960.2
(MD2) = 0 and PRM 960.1 (MD1) = 1, to save as a part program make PRM 960.1 = 0).
3. Set parameter 8760 to the program number you want the parameters to be stored as. Note 1.
4. Press the SYSTEM button then the RIGHT CHAPTER button until the Power Motion Manager screen is displayed.
5. Press the SYSTEM soft key.
6. Press the PARAM soft key.
7. Press the OPRT soft key.
8. Press the RIGHT CHAPTER button. READ and PUNCH soft keys will be displayed.
9. Select EDIT mode.
10.To save parameters from Beta drive to CNC press the READ soft key, press the ALL soft key then the EXEC soft key.
11.To restore the parameters from the CNC to the Beta drive press the PUNCH soft key, press the ALL soft key, then the EXEC soft key.

Be sure to check out our article covering A06B-6105-H002 – FANUC Robotics R-2000iA Servo Amplifier found here.

Fanuc 911 RAM PARITY ERROR Troubleshooting

Fanuc 911 Error

Fanuc 911 RAM PARITY ERROR Troubleshooting

MRO Electric and Supply maintains a comprehensive stock of new and used FANUC CNC and FANUC Robots parts. If you need a FANUC replacement part, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Last week we had a customer who was running an RNC 16 STAR 1990 vintage machine which failed so he decided to replace the main A16B-1010-0280 motherboard. His original problem was that he was receiving a 401 [VRDY Off] Error which then led to a 911 Error. When he replaced the A16B-1010-0280 motherboard, the machine would go directly to the 911 Error.

The first thing we checked for was to make sure that he transferred over all of the EEPROM modules from his original board to the replacement board, which he did. Since that wasn’t the issue, we double checked on the 911 Error, which shows as a RAM PARITY ERROR in the manual. The main cause of this error is an issue with the memory in the unit, which is caused by the memory board failing or losing the parameters in the system.

To check to see if the memory board was causing it or not, you can turn the control off, reset it, and delete the parameters. If this clears the alarm, the control would come up with a different series of servo alarms meaning that the parameters need to be reloaded. If the Fanuc 911 Error comes back it would mean that there is a problem with the memory board which needs to be replaced. Before trying any of this, be sure to confirm that you have all of the parameters saved so you can load them back in. Check out our article on IT and Robotics here.

Once the 911 Error was cleared, the customer was able to load the parameters back on to get the machine up and running.

FANUC CHECKSUM Error

fanuc checksum error

FANUC CHECKSUM Error

We recently shipped out two Fanuc A16B-3200-0040 boards to a customer and upon installation, they received a Fanuc CHECKSUM error on their control. Here are the notes that we use to troubleshoot this Fanuc error which can be used to try and solve the problem.

There are two common causes for this problem.  The first and most likely is TP communications.  If you see 3-5 “_” appear under the checksum number, and no red LED’s on the CPU, then this is the problem.  This means that 1/2 the communications signal is missing.  Swap the Pendant and cable (Cable is probably crushed or cut), and everything should hopefully be great.  There is a possibility of damage on the CPU side, however.

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

The second is a corruption of software on the CPU.  This will result in the middle red LED (going from memory, so it might be a different LED) on the CPU turning on.  The only way to recover from this is to dump in an image, or reload core & put in your most recent backup.  Corruptions can occur from the backup battery being dead, noisy power being supplied, or any major power glitch while the system is on (power loss, lightning strike, etc.)