Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
By installing automatic lubrication systems on its electroplating robots, a coatings company has saved around 45,000 euros over the last three years, by eliminating plant downtime due to insufficient lubrication of linear bearings and guideways.
Applied coatings specialist Collini Wien of Austria is making savings of around 15,000 euros per year after installing FAG Motion Guard CHAMPION automatic lubricators from FAG Industrial Services (F’IS), the condition monitoring and maintenance management organisation within the Schaeffler Group.
The electroplating plant at Collini Wien has been in operation with the automatic lubricators for more than three years, without any disruption caused by insufficient lubrication. The savings come from eliminating the cost of replacement parts, production downtime and labour associated with an annual plant shutdown.
Headquartered in Hohenems, Austria, Collini Wien specialises in finishing the surfaces of base materials by applying special coatings to them. These coatings protect the parts from corrosion and improve the aesthetics of the material. The company employs around 900 staff across ten production sites.
Before installing the ‘FAG Motion Guard Champion’ lubricators from F’IS, Collini Wien frequently had to shut down its electroplating plant because of damage to bearings caused by insufficient lubrication. For example, worn linear bearing units and guideways on its electroplating handling robots had to be replaced every 12 months due to wear. This resulted in the complete plant having to be shut down for between three and seven days at a time. The company therefore wanted to simplify its re-lubrication process and prevent any disruptions caused by insufficient lubrication.
The handling robots are 6-axis KUKA robots with a repeatability accuracy of ± 0.3mm and a rated payload of 200kg. Arm length is 1,000mm and the robots use INA linear ball bearing units and 6-metre long guideways, both supplied by the Schaeffler Group. In such a precise system, lubrication of bearing units is critical.
Experts from F’IS installed multiple FAG Motion Guard CHAMPION lubricators – filled with FAG Arcanol MULTITOP grease – on the linear bearing units. Each lubricator now ensures that bearings and shafts are continuously supplied with exactly the correct volume of lubricating grease, increasing the service and maintenance intervals of the bearings significantly.
FAG Motion Guard CHAMPION is a robust, electromechanically driven unit that operates on replaceable batteries. The device is electronically controlled and has a back-geared motor that enables the unit to discharge lubricant at adjustable intervals of one, three, six or 12 months. A lubricant canister is screwed to the drive unit, holding 60, 120 or 250cm3 of lubricating grease. Automatic pressure control at 5 bar is provided and the unit operates in temperatures from –10°C up to 50°C. The device is also protected against dust and splash water and is immune to electromagnetic interference from surrounding equipment.
By using Motion Guard Select Manager software, the user can select the discharge interval for the application, determine replenishment quantities and select preferred lubricating greases.
FAG Motion Guard Champion and Compact lubricators can be used on all types of plant, including pumps, compressors, fans, conveyors and vehicles.
For further information visit: www.schaeffler.co.uk