Robotic newbie, just bought RX60 with w/CS8M controller

  • Hi all! I just bought my 1st (well, technically 2nd, but that's another story) robot, and thought joining this forum would be a good idea as I have seen a lot of good advice around here in other parts of the forum. My initial question is in regards to the Staubli forum itself. I took a look around here, and noticed that looking at the first page or 2 of posts, it seems that a good percentage of them have 0 replies. I also noticed that there was a sticky at the top from Jim C, who appears to have worked for them, but they changed their policy and he can no longer post replies. Is there a correlation with this? From doing some research before my purchase, I understood that Staubli wasn't the most widely used robot out there, but it had a decent installed base. I'm surprised at the lack of interactivity here, but hopefully once I get my robot set up, I'll add a little life to it, as I know I'll have questions as I go.

    Edited once, last by alha ().

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  • Staubli only has a couple percent of the market, so not a lot of people have experience with them. Traffic on this sub-forum is light, as you have discovered.

    Really shines in advanced applications. I consider the Staubli system to be a "programmer's arm" because the language is so powerful. It isn't for pendant-jockeys so much. Think of something like C++ for robots. Exploiting the language, motion, spherical work envelope, multi-tasking controller, & connectivity commands can allow the user to do some really way out-there stuff. Staubli used to have the best repeatability, but it seems the rest of the market caught up to them. I also used to describe the arms as "the Formula 1 car of robots" because of their superior speed and precision. In the same breath I would explain that if you crashed a Fanuc/Moto/Kuka/etc. into the floor you would have to patch up the floor. Do that to a Staubli and you'd take the robot home in a sack. That has improved.

    Nice hardware & software for advanced applications. I haven't touched one of these arms in a few years now, so my impressions are dated. The last time I used a Staubli, I wished their service & support was...better.

  • Thanks for the reply TygerDawg, I appreciate it. I just purchased a RX60BL and a CS8M controller, and am in the process of having the seller ship it to Staubli so they can go thru it. It came out of a pharma company which I was told used it lightly in a prototype environment, so hopefully it's in VG shape. One issue it possibly has is that it was produced in mid 2004, and the CPU is the older style, as well as the software being quite out of date as well, unless it was updated since it was purchased, but Staubli doesn't have a record of it. We'll found out if it was once they get it in house and start going thru it. The main issue with that is if left unchanged, it will prevent me from using their suite of software, as well as the offline simulator.

    We're going to discuss upgrades when they have had a chance to look it over and see where it stands. The bummer about the software updates is that they are $500 per major version release, so it will be at least $1000 to get it to something semi current. Then to get the CPU to the modern style that uses 24v instead of 5v, will be another cost, because it will take a new power supply and other pieces to make it fit into my current cabinet. Lots to think about. And lots to learn.

    I'm writing this from my hotel room at Automate 2015, and had a chance to interact with the Staubli folks at the booth yesterday and today, and I have to say that I was impressed with each person I worked with, from the service rep to the SW individual who helped me configure their software properly on my laptop that I dragged down to their booth. So far, all my contacts with them have been very positive, which is very promising. I didn't realize they had such a small market share, they are one of the largest booths at the show, and it seemed to be well attended each time I was at it.

    Well, it will be an interesting adventure from here on out, I have a ton to learn and hope to use this forum and it's knowledge base to help me along the way. I will do my best to use the search function and to avoid asking already answered questions, but plz forgive me if I ask some fairly obvious ones. I am a total robotics newb, after all...

  • Well, time to get back to this post with an update, as there is much new (but definitely not good) news. It took a while, but got it shipped back to Staubli in mid July. Finally got a report of it's status in mid August, and it wasn't good news. Here is the gist of it from the tech: "The CPU will try to boot and gets up to the RAM test before it stops (we watch the BIOS load), so I suspect it has simply failed." The BIOS battery was also bad so they replaced it but still wouldn't boot.

    I am in a pickle, because I spent a decent amount of money on it, and it was working at the sellers place, but wasn't working at the Staubli factory repair facility. Unfortunately, as it took them about 3 weeks to finally get it on the bench and a tech to look at it, yesterday I heard back that the claim I put in with the carrier for hidden damages has been denied because of the delay of submitting it since the delivery day, and the repair quote for the new CPU actually came to almost twice what I had paid for the entire robotic setup! I am still working that angle, but if I end up with anything from it, it's going to take time. No surprise, I got an email late last week from Staubli repair asking what is going on, as they need to make room for the next repair.

    I have been struggling to find another way to get it working, such as scanning ebay for the CPU board, with no success. I am attaching the pics they sent me of it, and the numbers on the tags they found were 2-A230-1088 and T 830E/566 2MB 64M. I see that it is made by TEKNOR, and after a little a little digging tonite, I found that TEKNOR is now Kontron, out of Canada. I also see they have a service dept, so I will call them tomorrow on the outside chance they have the ability to do board level repairs, because Staubli wants over $8k for just the CPU! He said that the price for them has about doubled in the last couple years, and that amount is outrageous, to say the least.

    I am kind of running out of options now, Google hasn't been much help, but if anyone could give me any suggestions as to where I might find a company that does board level repairs, or ones that may have a good, tested, used CPU for my unit, I'd appreciate it. I'm pretty frustrated right now, I spent a ton (to me) of money on this robot for my _very_ small business, and expected that it would have a reasonably inexpensive tune up and check over by Staubli, and then get it shipped to me all bright, shiny and ready for years of service. Not so much.

    Thanks for anything anyone has to offer, it is Greatly appreciated at this point.

  • I cannot remember accurately, but my CS8 controller looked a little different inside. Mine did not have a battery but a capacitor instead. When I reached a BIOS hang up, I left the controller on for several hours and it then booted up fine. We call that process "out gassing" .
    I then got a STARC card error. I will not go through the details, but the Staubli software designer requires the fiber optic lines to be in optimal order. I replaced the fiber optic lines with a pair of lines that run directly from the STARC card to the robot base. I eliminated two junctions in each line and the pair cost about $100 delivered from a company that matched the connectors.

    My robot was used as a prototype and had only about 100 hours on it. I was told that the company that used it was a state of the art robot company. After I was able to get through their passwords. I looked at their code and I was not impressed at the simplicity of the code. It consisted of only movej, movel, waitEndMove and a few DIO commands.

    My system uses the robot as a slave. It receives about 10 coded commands ( a bunch of if/thens, it is very simple) moves if needed and returns position and a few status bytes all through the serial port. I have a vacuum pick-up, clamp and a renishaw probe on the hand.

    Good luck getting your robot operational.

  • skrobot, sorry that I hadn't seen the email ping when you had sent your replies, otherwise I'd have answered. Well, I ended up having Staubli upgrade my system and it is in the final stages of the service. I had the CPU upgraded, and it is running the latest possible version of the software for that controller. I've seen videos of it running, and it's moving really well, it looks like they did a great job on it. It cost me a little over $8000, so it sure wasn't cheap, but compared to a new setup, it was a good deal, and hopefully a wise investment. The one issue is of course that it is now at EOL, so parts are going to be getting harder and harder to find, but it isn't going to be running all day every day, so hopefully it will last me for years if I take good care of it.

    savad, I'll keep you in mind down the road, hopefully I won't need your services, but if it happens that I do, I will send you a ping!

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