Smart and inexpensive – ReBel®, the igus cobot for automation … now with smart plastics technology
Richard Habering | 21. September 2022
The ReBeL depends entirely on igus’ motion plastics expertise: plastic makes the robot (net weight: 8.2 kilograms) the lightest service robot with cobot function in its class. The ReBeL’s mechanical components are developed and manufactured in Cologne, where final assembly is also performed. Its payload is 2 kilograms, and its range is 664 millimetres. Repeatability is +/- 1 millimetre at seven picks per minute. Its core is the world’s first industrial cobot gearbox made of plastic.
Full transparency during operation for predictive maintenance thanks to smart sensor technology
For the latest generation of ReBeL service robots with cobot function, igus has applied its motion plastics expertise to power electronics and, using conductive plastic tracks, developed an encoder with which the exact axis position is developed. Temperature, number of rotations, cycles, runs, and electrical current can be measured with the motor controller installed directly on the gearbox . A smart plastics systems connection allows a dashboard to display all data generated live in an easily readable format – and the customer can choose whether this is done via the cloud or on a local network. This gives the customer full transparency for his smart ReBeL during operation in the form of key indicators such as operating time, axis temperature, and active programs. The user thus enjoys the following benefits:
- Increase machine availability and maximum service life
- Reduce maintenance costs through early warnings
- Dashboard connection in a local or external network, connection to PLC and plant monitor
The seventh axis also keeps track of things … thanks to drylin W and i.Cee
smart plastics technology has been available for drylin linear modules on the seventh axis for a long time so that here, too, wear on sliding bearings made of high-performance plastics can be detected at an early stage and maintenance planned predictively. Modern smart plastics sensors measure wear on the bearings, which are resistant to dirt and dust, and preventively gives the user a signal when the wear limit is reached.
A measurement and data transmission unit is built into the carriage’s support plate to allow a wide range of Industry 4.0 use cases. It communicates with the intelligent i.Cee:plus module using the LoRa industry radio standard. This allows a wide variety of methods of integration into customer networks or other IoT concepts. The integrated measuring unit’s 24V DC power supply uses a LiPo battery, which can be charged easily with the USB interface. This ensures round-the-clock condition monitoring. Connection to the i.Cee:plus module allows other features such as predicted maintenance intervals, live dashboards (online and offline), and immediate alarm messages via e-mail or SMS. The following application by Güdel, an automation specialist, shows how connection to internal networks can work.