Creating a Welding Machine Preventative Maintenance Checklist

robotic welding operator using machine to determine efficient welding processes

Welding robot maintenance is a vital part of owning and operating an industrial robot system or work cell—but performing preventative maintenance is a daunting task. Creating a welding machine preventative maintenance checklist is a best practice to ensure you don’t miss any crucial steps.

Steps To Include in Your Robot Maintenance Checklist

Check for Liquid and Weld Spatters

Look for signs of liquid and weld spatters on the floor near your machine. If you notice spatters, you either have a loose or broken fitting, damaged hoses, or hard tubing.

Hoses and electrical wire coating can crack over time. Once hoses and electrical wire are damaged, the UV light emitted during the welding process breaks down their components and causes droplets of liquid to appear on the floor. Damaged or exposed hoses and wires are subjected to weld spatter, droplets of molten material generated at or near the welding arc. Weld spatter can build up over time and degrade or destroy your air and hydraulic clamps. Spatter can also burn a hole through your machine’s tubing, resulting in a fire.

Protective covers like fabric sheaths extend the life of your flexible hoses without restricting their movement. Consider fabric sheaths to protect hoses routed through and on the robot, end-of-arm tooling, or fixed-tooling stations. You should also consider a more fire-resistant hydraulic fluid when using high-pressure hydraulic tooling.

Inspect Your Hardware

Inspect your welding robot’s hardware and its surrounding tooling for signs of loose or missing bolts. Visually confirm that all applicable safety covers are in place. If your robot uses oil instead of grease, check the sight glass for a quick inspection of your machine’s fluid level and color. Low fluid indicates a leak, and darker fluid confirms high temperatures or contamination.

Listen for Air Leaks and Grinding

Listen for air leaks in your welding cell. Air leaks indicate a burned air line or loose-fitting. If possible, listen to your equipment while running production. Grinding noises or unusual vibrations could mean you have a mechanical problem.

Ignoring welding robot maintenance can result in costly repairs, but with Oxygen Service Company, you get a quality repair service that doesn’t break the bank.

Check the Master Position

Ensure that your welding robot’s master position and user tool values are located correctly before production. Some tools available can perform these functions automatically on a set interval.

Replace Batteries

If your robot uses batteries to back up its position or programs, replace them regularly, usually yearly. Replacing your machine’s batteries ensures they are always fully charged, preventing production downtime and improving efficiency.

Ensure Cleanliness

Confirm that your machine’s control cabinet, its fans, and ducts are clean and debris-free. If you operate a fabrication shop where cutting and grinding operations are nearby, make sure airborne contaminants don’t get inside the controller and onto exposed circuit boards. The dust and oil can lead to a short or fire.

Backup Your Software

Back up your robot software regularly. With the complexity of today’s systems, it’s easy to decrease production time with a few inefficient programming techniques. By restoring a previously functioning backup software, your welding robot can revert back to its previous software quickly.

Replace Welding Liners

The most common welding robot component that wears over time is its liner. If you’re running your robot in three shifts, you should change the liner weekly to eliminate defects during operation.

Check Worn Cables

Watch the robot run through production, making a note of any cables that are dragging, rubbing, touching, or moving along any other part of the welding cell. Cables contacting other machine components lead to costly cable maintenance. You should replace worn cables and secure them to decrease excess wear and tear.

Replace Guns, Tips, and Nozzles

Replace your welding gun tips daily. Check the nozzles for weld spatter that could build up and cut down on functionality. A fresh contact tip on a welding torch helps correct defects that commonly occur during the welding process. You can also use soap bubbles to check for any system shielding gas leaks.

Providing You With Quality Robot Maintenance

It’s crucial to have your welding machine and cutting equipment serviced for preventative maintenance. Through Oxygen Service Company’s welding robot maintenance program, rest assured your equipment is always functioning properly. Schedule these services up to one year in advance to guarantee optimum performance and productivity. Whether you need annual, semi-annual, or quarterly maintenance, OSC’s factory-trained technicians have the skills to inspect, calibrate, test, and repair your equipment fast and efficiently. And when you’re a part of our maintenance program, we provide you with an inspection report after your service is complete. Contact us today to learn more.