Industry 4.0 | How to deal with the requirements of lubricating industrial robots?

Industrial robots have a more compact structure, larger bearing capacity and higher precision requirements than traditional machinery. However, they also pose a challenge to providers of lubrication products. Let’s have a look at typical lubrication requirements and solutions for robots in the automotive, electronics and food industries.

In our current era of artificial intelligence and innovative technologies, industrial robots, known as the “pearl in the manufacturing crown”, have successfully made their way into the production lines of a growing number of companies across many industries, doing tedious and repetitive work and greatly improving production and efficiency. Industrial robots have even become an important indicator of a country’s innovation and industrial competitiveness. Industrial robots have a more compact structure, larger bearing capacity and higher precision requirements than traditional machinery. However, they also pose a challenge to providers of lubrication products. Let us have a look at typical lubrication requirements and our solutions for robots in the automotive, electronics and food industries.

Automotive Industry

Robots are widely utilised in the automotive industry for such processes as welding, assembly, gluing, painting and handling. For robots in the automotive industry, appropriate lubrication not only reduces friction and wear between contact partners but also supports the reliability and utilisation time of reducer gears. That means for example extending the oil change cycle, though reducing the costs and labour associated with oil change. At the same time, the lubricant must have a stable performance at high and low temperatures and furthermore a high level of material compatibility with seals to prevent leakage during long-term usage.

Our gear oil Klübersynth GEM 4-150N is widely used in the MRO market for re-lubrication of cycloid gears. Its excellent performance has been proved through many years of use in the European market and has been accepted by many operators.

Electronics Industry

The electronics industry is the second largest utiliser of industrial robots after the automotive and automotive parts industries. It mainly uses industrial robots for mobile phones, computers, parts and other components. Industrial robots in the electronics industry have some unique lubrication requirements. These robots are normally lubricated with grease due to their generally low load and more economical harmonic drives. A high-performance grease can effectively reduce the wear of reduction drives, improve efficiency and reduce temperature increases, thereby greatly extending service life.

Klüber Lubrication has developed the Klübersynth GE 44 series of products for applications in reducer gears. This series greatly expands the range of operating temperatures, shows good wear performance and excellent material compatibility with frequently used radial shaft sealings based on traditional lubricants.

The Food Industry

Food safety issues are becoming increasingly important as consumption levels have increased and the requirements of relevant laws and regulations for food production processes are becoming increasingly stringent. This includes requirements for the use of food-grade lubrication in food production equipment. Types of robots commonly seen on typical food production lines include processing robots, sorting robots, packing robots and palletising robots. In cases where processing and sorting robots are located above the food production lines, the lubricants used must comply with food safety standards.

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of food-grade lubricants, Klüber Lubrication provides the Klüberfood NH1 94-51 food-grade grease for reducer gears in robots. It is NSF H1/ISO 21469 certified in addition to increasing durability and excellent wear resistance of reduction drives, while taking into account food safety and production efficiency.

Robots will always be a topic of conversation and industrial robots, currently accounting for the largest number of robots, are critical to robotic development. Under the umbrella of the permanent “Lube & Seal” project, lubrication experts from Klüber Lubrication are collaborating with sealing experts from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies to develop a one-stop solution for optimising seal life and preventing leaks in order to bring an optimal solution to industrial production.

Learn more about our solutions for the automation industry.

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