Identification of Industrial Robot Arm Work Cell Use Cases and a Test Bed to Promote Monitoring, Diagnostic, and Prognostic Technologies

Brian A. Weiss and Alexander Klinger
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
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phmc_17_003.pdf569.3 KBSeptember 14, 2017 - 6:33pm

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is performing research to advance the state of the art in monitoring, diagnostic, and prognostic technologies (collectively known as prognostics and health management (PHM)) to enhance decision-making at the factory floor to promote smarter maintenance and control strategies. One specific thrust in this hierarchical research is focused at the work cell level. A robot system is the focus of this research level where the manufacturing community would benefit from measurement science (e.g., test methods, metrics, reference datasets) to design, deploy, verify, and validate PHM technologies aimed at a robot system work cell. This research is supported by the development of an industry-representative use case and will be further articulated through the generation of a physical test bed. As an industrial robot arm, by itself, is relatively robust, especially within hard automation scenarios, the overall robot system is more complicated and prone to greater uncertainty in its health degradation over time. A typical robot system work cell includes a robot(s), a robot controller(s), an end-effector(s), sensors, and other supporting automation that are integrated together to perform a specific task (e.g., welding, material handling). Over time, the individual components, and their respective relationships with one another, inside the work cell degrade, likely at different rates, which will ultimately impact critical metrics including productivity and quality. Faults and failures can be costly in terms of lost time and lost productivity making it beneficial for manufacturers to acquire advanced warning of if, when, and where a component (or relationship) will fail. NIST’s identification of representative manufacturing robot work cell use cases will provide the foundation for which it will construct its own physical test bed. The test bed is designed to emulate the chosen robot system use case and afford sufficient flexibility to add, subtract, or upgrade components and capabilities to be commensurate with common industrial practices. This paper will present various use case options that NIST has considered and highlight the ones that will be the foundation of the physical test bed. Additionally, the initial test bed design will be introduced.

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Submission Keywords: 
measurement science
use cases
test bed
Submission Topic Areas: 
Standards and methodologies
Verification and validation
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