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Gloucestershire Business News

Renishaw declares war on bad robots

New products to monitor robot health and wellbeing might read like science fiction.

But Wotton-under-Edge-headquartered engineering giant Renishaw has come up with the goods that promise to ensure industry can keep bad robots at bay.

With existing processes surrounding robot set-up and maintenance being largely manual, Renishaw's Industrial Automation Products Division (IAPD) hit upon the idea of developing and designing products that would make commissioning and servicing easier and more efficient. 

The end results, having been revealed in Detroit this week, will be shown to the European market at Munich's Automechanika 23, later next month.

Dr Kevyn Jonas, director of IAPD, said: "The existing processes surrounding robot set-up and maintenance are largely manual for an industry built upon automation.

"With no existing fully comprehensive solutions, these methods have been accepted, until today. Robot integrators and users now finally have a solution for a quick, simple, and traceable means to manage their robots."

Will Lee, chief executive, added: "With the global growth of robotics and their increased use in precision production applications, we are seeing significant challenges. We believe we can address these challenges based on our decades of experience providing calibration and set-up solutions within the machine tool and motion control industries."

The new RCS product line builds on Renishaw's existing expertise and technologies in industrial metrology and aims to transform the process of commissioning and servicing industrial automation technologies.

Developed to tackle fundamental challenges in this field, the RCS product line focuses on the problems associated with manual set-up, calibration, and maintenance of robots, such as operational accuracy and repeatability. Specifically, the range includes three products: RCS L-90, RCS T-90, and RCS P-series, all supported by a dedicated software suite:

- RCS L-90 is a ballbar device that improves robot system accuracy, reduces deployment time, and monitors robot health with simple routines controlled by its supporting software suite.

- RCS T-90 is a tri-ballbar system that enables robot users to identify root causes of poor performance, with further comprehensive tests to capture critical robot information — such as remastering the joint offsets to calculated positions, running master-recovery routines and plotting 3D path performance.

- RCS P-series, says the maker, "integrates a permanent Renishaw probing solution within a robot cell to apply in-process metrology and automatic recovery to automation processes".

Categorised as either 'in-field' or 'in-process' products, the new RCS products will additionally help to simplify robot set-up, health checks and the recovery of robotic applications following collisions.

Working with Renishaw's new intuitive robotics software, RCS Software Suite, the products also support robots from a wide range of manufacturers.

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