Lubricant Analysis for the Robotics Industry

Currently most robotic operators undertake this task based on a manufacturer’s recommended schedule, regardless of whether the grease needs to be changed or not. Often, this means that healthy grease is removed from the robot prematurely, adding unnecessary labor and product costs.Currently most robotic operators undertake this task based on a manufacturer’s recommended schedule, regardless of whether the grease needs to be changed or not. Often, this means that healthy grease is removed from the robot prematurely, adding unnecessary labor and product costs.

 

MRG’s Robotic Grease Analysis Test Slate shows operators the condition of the grease without requiring a full grease change. This allows operators to delay costly and unnecessary grease changes until the conditions demand it. Further, analysis provides early warning of abnormal conditions in the robot. In this way, catastrophic failures and extended downtime can be avoided, further reducing operating and maintenance costs.MRG’s Robotic Grease Analysis Test Slate shows operators the condition of the grease without requiring a full grease change. This allows operators to delay costly and unnecessary grease changes until the conditions demand it. Further, analysis provides early warning of abnormal conditions in the robot. In this way, catastrophic failures and extended downtime can be avoided, further reducing operating and maintenance costs.

Grease Analysis Test Slate

 

MRG’s test slate for robotics is designed to evaluate wear, consistency, contamination and oxidation conditions of FANUC drive greases. The basic test slate includes:

FdM+ Analysis

Analex

Purpose

Ferrous Debris Monitoring (FdM+) is used to quantify the ferrous content of used grease samples. It is a primary indicator of wear levels.

 

Method

The FdM+ uses an electro-magnetic coil to measure iron content. The sensor detects the ferrous debris distributed throughout the entire sample as the Grease Thief is dropped into the instrument. This helps avoid inaccurate results due to aliquoting the sample or instrumental particle size limitations, which are the two major issues that can arise when using other methods to track wear levels. Results are reported in parts per million (ppm).

Die Extrusion

Die Extrusion

Purpose

Die Extrusion testing uses the innovative design of the Grease Thief© and the Grease Thief Analyzer to measure the consistency of a grease sample. The consistency of a used sample is compared to the consistency of the baseline to generate the dimensionless Grease Thief Index, describing how the consistency of the grease has changed.

Method

Grease is extruded from the full Grease Thief through a small die using the Grease Thief Analyzer. As the grease is extruded, a force probe measures the force required to extrude the grease through the small die channel. Extrusion occurs at three speeds in order to create a consistency profile. This method allows grease consistency to be measured with only a gram of grease, significantly reducing necessary sample volume for useful consistency testing.

Grease Colorimetry

Colorimetry

Purpose

Grease colorimetry testing is used to validate observed appearance changes in greases, trend darkening due to aging or overheating, characterize dye formulations of new greases, and may even approximate the concentration of certain particulate contaminants, such as coal dust or other solids accumulating in the grease.

 

Method

A thin film of the grease sample is loaded into a dark chamber and exposed to the spectrum of visible light (400-700 nm). The relative intensity of the light that is aborbed at each wavelength is measured and an absorption spectrum graph is generated. This visible spectrum is characteristic of grease color and can be used to indicate grease color changes that are not quantifiable by the human eye.

FT-IR Spectroscopy

FT-IR Spectroscopy

Purpose

Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) is used to determine the chemical properties of a compound in a qualitative manner. Oxidation products can be detected using this spectroscopic technique. Contamination, including mixing with incompatible greases is easily detected using this method.

 

Method

A small quantity of grease is subjected to a spectrum of infrared radiation. Specific wavelengths of infrared radiation excite the chemical bonds that make up the grease and generate a unique spectral fingerprint. This fingerprint can be compared to baseline data to determine chemical changes in grease composition.

Further testing can be suggested upon completion of these basic screening tests including: RULER, Analytical Ferrography, RDE Spectroscopy, Karl Fischer moisture and Rheometry.Further testing can be suggested upon completion of these basic screening tests including: RULER, Analytical Ferrography, RDE Spectroscopy, Karl Fischer moisture and Rheometry.