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 Advice on first robot installation


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August 14, 2018, 08:20:33 AM
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Robotstarter


Hi all,

Because of growing production and difficulties of finding skilled workers we are looking at robot options to help us with our welding parts.

This will be our first robot and we dont have any experience at all. Unfortunately we dont have the budget to afford a new installation so we are looking for a used/refurbished robot from a well known company.

Our products are 850x730x150mm and have a max weight of 30kg, the robot will be mostly used to weld steel in 2 -3mm thickness. We think that a robot with a reach of +/- 1500mm with an H positioner should be able to weld most, probably all, of our parts.

I have been offered two different installations from two different well known supplier (for refurbished robots). I would like to know if someone can give some comments on which installation they would prefer and why.

first opion ABB1400
- refurbished Robot ABB 1400 controller S4c+ with M2000 software
- K type manipulator with atleast 250kg payload and 2000m+ between heads
- new Fronius TPs320i welder
- Torch cleaning station
- fully tested, serviced repainted and comes with a 90 day parts warranty

second option Kuka
- KUKA KR15 with 1.500 mm arm reach, refurbished.
- KRC2 controller based on WinXP, KUKA software KSS 5.2.14, 32 Digital I/O
- Kempi 400 Amp welding machine
- H positioner 2.5 meter 500kg load capacity
- cleaning installation

install and training will be quoted extra

There is a 10.000 euro difference between the installations, ABB installatin being cheaper.

Linkback: https://www.robot-forum.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=27909.0

Today at 12:30:29 PM
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August 14, 2018, 10:18:38 AM
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RoboWeld


I can't offer an opinion on the KUKA option as I have not had much to do with them.

I have installed a few IRB1400 with K type manipulators both single and twin robot types and the end users have been happy with the results. ABB robots of that age age have been reliable with good back up.

August 14, 2018, 10:51:02 AM
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Robotstarter



Thanks for your reply!

The ABB also has my preference there seems to be quite some spare parts arround and companies that can service these robots.

Is there anything you can say about the programming of the robots; is it easier to learn to program a ABB compared to a Kuka robot?



August 15, 2018, 11:13:29 AM
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RoboWeld


I've found the ABB joystick on the teach pendant makes programming much easier than pressing buttons to move/jog the arm.

August 15, 2018, 01:23:37 PM
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SkyeFire

Global Moderator
Joystick vs buttons really comes down to personal taste.  Most programmers I know dislike the joystick.

Anyway, for basic welding, almost any robot brand is ok.  Both ABB and KUKA are robots friendly to "strong" programmers, people who write their own software.  How friendly they are to "newbies" depends on what software options they have installed, and if the hardware matches that software.  If you're buying essentially a turnkey system, where all the software and hardware has worked together before, then that issue is a wash.

The bigger issue, in my mind, is parts and service.  My general advice to people buying old, used robots, is to buy several of the same make and model.  Getting spare parts for these units is getting harder and more expensive all the time, so having one (or more) "hangar queens" to cannibalize for spare parts can actually be less expensive in the long run.

You also want to look very carefully at what comes with the robot.  It should have electrical diagrams, the installation CDs or other media, licenses, etc.  But most used robots have "lost" these along the way.  Before buying, get the serial numbers, then contact the original manufacturer and ask about what it'll cost to replace any of these missing items -- often they'll be cheap or free, and getting them can save your bacon later.  Also, try to get a feel for what spare parts are still available and at what cost.   An older, cheaper robot might well cost you much more in the long run, do to less parts availability.  A KUKA KRC1, for example, is much harder to find parts for than a younger KRC2.

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August 16, 2018, 08:37:58 AM
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Robotstarter


Thanks. Of course I am just looking into robots so I have zero experience/knowledge at this point. However I did notice that the ABB1400 is offered quite often, also spares seems to be available at different sources. The robot and positioner will be delivered fully tested, serviced repainted and comes with a 90 day parts warranty, can maybe ask them to extend it.

The ABB controller is a S4C+ with M2000 software, I believe this is one of the later controllers delivered with the ABB1400, as far as I can tell. I dont know what the benefit is of the M2000 software, if someone can explain please.

They confirmed that all software should be there. The only thing we should do is connect the right plugs to the power cables (400v 3 phase) and add the gas + wire for the welding.

At the moment I am looking for a company that can help with the install + do a few days training.

P.S. The positioner that comes with the ABB robot is a K type manipulator 2.5m, 500kg payload positioner.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 08:58:59 AM by Robotstarter »

August 16, 2018, 12:40:42 PM
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TygerDawg


In my fantasy world of infinite money & infinite time & never any problems, I suggest you do your due diligence first.

Get some hands-on time with an experienced programmer for each system.  You may discover that you are not personality-compatible with a particular robot interface.

Before I committed to revenue-dependent production, I'd purchase a cheapo beat-up robot for practice to become familiar and gain skills.  THEN I'd commit to a NEW robot to reduce or eliminate the issues of training, spares, & out-dated expertise.

But if you live in the real world of insufficient money & time & have an affection for problems, then ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
TygerDawg
Blue Technik
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering
www.bluetechnik.com

August 20, 2018, 03:17:36 PM
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Robotstarter


I tried to make a quick sketch of our situation with the robot and positioner. Its difficult to know the exact distance of the positioner from the robot, however in my sketch it looks like that when the fixtures are in horizontal position some area will be out of reach. Of course the positioner can rotate to bring it within the reach of the robot. I am not familair if the situation in my sketch is normal or that its better to take a robot with a longer reach.

I also looked into a different postioner and found a K positioner from ABB this positioner rotates around X, I think this positioner can be placed closer to the robot and gives a better reach. I only dont know if this will make the programming more difficult.

August 20, 2018, 03:19:58 PM
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Robotstarter


I tried to make a quick sketch of our situation with the robot and positioner. Its difficult to know the exact distance of the positioner from the robot, however in my sketch it looks like that when the fixtures are in horizontal position some area will be out of reach. Of course the positioner can rotate to bring it within the reach of the robot. I am not familair if the situation in my sketch is normal or that its better to take a robot with a longer reach.

I also looked into a different postioner and found a K positioner from ABB this positioner rotates around X, I think this positioner can be placed closer to the robot and gives a better reach. I only dont know if this will make the programming more difficult.

Anyone that can give some advice?

August 24, 2018, 09:44:52 AM
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ddt


I would not say that is so easy to find a proper robot/positioner only with a sketches like you has drawn. First of all, you are considering robot reachability area, but as I can see you forget that robot will have some welding tool which has some length. Then, if you put your working piece to close to the robot, maybe you will not be able to reach everything, specially because for welding you have to satisfy not only the reachability in the space but also the correct angle etc. Also, if you lift the robot, maybe you will be able to reach everything. From my point of view, you can't do this without 3D sketch (model).

The best way is that somebody make the study for you using some simulation software. This study has to tell you if it's possible to use desired robots, which robot is more suitable regarding the size and configuration, the way how workpiece has to stay in front of the robot (perpendicular to the robot or with some angle etc), the way how tool has to be mounted to the flange and lot of other things.

Today at 12:30:29 PM
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