Robotics FAQs

Knowledge base

Robotics FAQs

What is the difference between 5-, 6- and 7-axis robots?

A 5-axis robot is often used for palletising tasks. This robot mainly operates on a flat surface where tilting the product is not necessary.

An additional 6th axis is usually a wrist joint for tilting the product. A 7th axis then is often an external axis that is added for transporting the robot over a track, for example along a production line.

Does a robot have sensors?

An industrial robot is often equipped with a power or current meter in the different motors (axes). These can measure the load and prevent overload. They also function as a security measure against oppression or other accidents involving an operator. In addition, a robot arm has encoders to accurately measure the position of the robot.

A cobot can be equipped with a soft skin. This soft skin has touch sensors which are able to detect the lightest touches.

Sensors for presence detection, position determination, quality control or probes are added later and are part of the total integration.

What is the need for maintenance of an industrial robot?

Eventually, every industrial robot needs maintenance. The frequency in which this is necessary varies greatly. Your robot manufacturer will usually provide guidelines for this. The need for maintenance strongly depends on a number of factors and has to be calculated for every robot setup independently. Main factors in this are environment (dirt / temperature) and workload (duration, force, speed).

How much training do my employees need to work with industrial robots?

The amount of training your employees need is dependent on the tasks they will perform. We distinguish roughly three categories. Firstly, when you plan on programming the robot in-house we recommend an intensive training provided by the robot manufacturer for your programmers (assuming they have necessary basic machine programming knowledge). These trainings can last from one week to a couple of weeks.

The technical team / maintenance personnel will need one day / up to a week of schooling in order to learn basic programming and solving errors. Many robot manufacturers offer this training as well.

The operators will need a few hours of instruction to get familiar with the operation and basic functionalities of the robot. This instruction can be given by the technical team or the robot integrator. Please pay attention that these are all estimated. Training needs are dependent of foreknowledge, use and functions of the robot and robot manufacturer.

Can a robot be integrated in an existing machine?

Yes, this is possible in many cases. Of course, it is dependent on the kind of machine, available space and tasks of the robot. This should be investigated beforehand. Some adjustments to the machine will be inevitable, mechanical, but also the electrical control and the software. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to safety when using an industrial robot. Fencing or visual shield may be needed.

Can I buy a robot from you?

Yes, you certainly can. We are happy to help you select the right robot for the task. Together, we will look into the required functionalities, such as number of axis, reach and payload. We can also offer support in designing and realising a total integration.

What is the difference between the teach-/flexpendant and the HMI?

The teach- or flexpendant is part of the robot itself and is provided by the robot manufacturer. With this, after initial programming, robot positions can be changed or added on site. When not in use, the pendant can be disconnected from the robot. The teach- or flexpendant is not always a necessary part of the robot setup.

The HMI is the interface for the entire setup. This includes the supply and discharge, robot, grippers, sensors and other possible elements.

How complex is it to switch between products and therefore grippers, especially in programming?

This does not have to be complex. There are two possible solutions to this. First, it can be ensured that different grippers have the same reference point from the robot. This way the movement is not adjusted. When the variation is greater, another program can be written that can be activated when changing products or grippers. The complexity then lies in writing the new program once. A robot setup can be designed in such a way that the robot independently identifies the existing gripper and calls up the associated program. This way, the operator only has to switch the gripper by use of a quick-coupling gripper.

Can a robot be controlled from a distance?

In theory this is possible. However it is not recommended. Safety can never be 100% guaranteed when the robot is distance controlled. Reviewing errors and malfunctions and making minor adjustments is often possible, but only with someone on location to guarantee the safety. In such cases, it is possible to take over the flexpendant from a distance when a key has been manually turned in the robot.