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Sherlock Ohms

Bad Timing Made a Bad Robot

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naperlou
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Blogger
Was it tested?
naperlou   8/12/2013 9:59:33 AM
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Glenn, your analysis of and solution to the problem were really good.  You indicate that the robot had been reporgrammed site.  Was this the only robot of this type in use at that site?  What prompted the reprogramming?  From your description it seems that the customer had people who were not qualified programming the robot.  Is this the norm?

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Random vs. pseudorandom
Dave Palmer   8/12/2013 1:50:04 PM
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In manufacturing, any defect that's described as "random" just means "I haven't figured out the pattern yet," or maybe "I haven't taken the time to look for a pattern yet."

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Random vs. pseudorandom
Charles Murray   8/12/2013 6:48:12 PM
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Indeed, Dave. This looks like choice #2 -- "No one has taken the time to look for a pattern yet."

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: Was it tested?
Debera Harward   8/13/2013 7:25:11 AM
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Glenn thats really very nice ,i am highly impressed with your analytical and problem detection and solving skills.According to me a good engineer is not the one who just manufactures objects and products but he should have good analytical skills as well .

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Bad Timing...
Ralphy Boy   8/13/2013 5:21:00 PM
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Glenn... When working with CNC code generating software is common to have a 'post processor' that takes the general instructions from the GUI CAM screen and writes it as machine/controller specific code.

It looks like this is what you are referring to, or was it the onboard machine code that reads that that was modified?

Either way, I've done some post processor writing and I know that it is easy to miss something such as what you described... and not always easy to debug it later. It's the randomness of the problem you were up against that makes it tough puzzle.

Good on you for picking it out.

Thinking_J
User Rank
Platinum
trouble shooting on the shop floor...
Thinking_J   8/13/2013 6:51:22 PM
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Glen did what I have always advocated... spend the time observing the machine AND the operator before taking any other action(s).

Often taking time to review the situation with a good knowledgeable operator is the best usage of time. Bad operators on the other hand...

 

 

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Was it tested?
GlennA   8/13/2013 8:54:52 PM
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Naperlou;  This was probably a Motoman - this story is several years old.  Most of the robots were Motoman, either L100's or K100's, and one K6, but there were also two ABB IRB 60's, a Miller, a GMF S-420-F, and an ACMA.  The robot had been moved from one building to another, and the workcell had been modified to allow 2 tooling fixtures.  The 'programmer' (and this is a sore point) was a manager who fancied himself a 'robotic welding expert'.  I had several disagreements with the 'experts' during my (short) tenure at Matsu.  It is not unusual to have marginally qualified people program robots - one of the selling 'features' is how easy a robot is to program.  Robots are easy to program, but not easy to program well.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Bad Timing...
GlennA   8/13/2013 9:03:00 PM
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Ralphy Boy;  ABB called their robot programming language ARLa; A Robot Language.  I don't remember what Motoman called their programming language.  Early robots used G-code, which I think is now entirely replaced by plain language type programming languages.  Instead of a G-code move command, the syntax is usually something like  'MoveL' for a linear move, or 'MoveJ' for a joint move. 

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: trouble shooting on the shop floor...
GlennA   8/13/2013 9:14:54 PM
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Thinking J;  I agree that asking the operator, or previous technician, why they think there is a problem, what they think the problem is, and what they have done to diagnose, or to fix, the problem, is time well spent.  Sometimes the 'problem' is an attempted fix to a non-existent problem.

rkinner
User Rank
Iron
Plant staff knows a lot
rkinner   8/16/2013 3:22:35 PM
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There is great knowledge in the plant personnel, it's how you ask the question that can make a big difference.  They often have a different langauge or "lack of formal training" but the info is really there.  They may not know the exact word to use but with a observant engineer, you can determine so much of what is happening.

Russ

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