Here’s a novel way to create more environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities across the world: remanufacturing robots. This practice, being instituted by manufacturer ABB, enables existing robot users to sell inactive or legacy robots with an attractive buy back service, rather than scrapping them or leaving them unused in a corner of the factory.
Over the last 25 years, thousands of robots have been refurbished and upgraded by the company’s remanufactured robot teams, to give them a second life. As well as previously owned robots, peripheral equipment such as controllers and manipulators are refurbished to like-new conditions at one of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers.
Before being labelled as a certified remanufactured robot, every second-hand unit undergoes rigorous checks, including a detailed inspection and a minimum 16-hour functioning test. Each remanufactured robot comes with a two-year warranty and buyers of refurbished equipment enjoy the same level of support from local service teams, including installation and training, as they would with the purchase of a new robot.
“We completely remanufacture our robots using original ABB design plans, specifications and dimensional data. This guarantees that the robots offer the same levels of quality, performance, durability and safety as a new ABB robot,” said Jan Borsky of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers. “We have one of the largest inventories of pre-owned and reconditioned robots across the world, with 400 robots of various types in stock for sale, and currently the demand for second life robots is so high that we have more than one robot leaving our Ostrava (Czech Republic) facility every working day.”
A remanufactured robot can also be upgraded to the latest controller, which unlocks new functionalities such as ABB Ability Connected services or the latest version of RobotStudio, the simulation and offline programming software. Upgrades can also unlock the potential of collaborative robotics, with SafeMove software providing businesses with the opportunity to enable robots to work alongside operators without the need for extensive guarding, which helps to cut both the cost of an installation and the overall footprint, ideal for locations where space is at a premium.
“Customers … updating their robots with the latest technologies has helped boost flexibility and productivity, and by extending the lifetime of their robots, has helped maximize their return on investment,” said Borsky. “We’ve also helped existing robot customers who wanted to add additional robots to their existing production line but found that the specific model they needed had been discontinued. We sourced and installed a remanufactured model, so the business could continue to benefit from long-term efficiencies in maintenance, spare parts and staff training.”
ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation
Filed Under: Design World articles, Green engineering