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Magnalube Keeps Robots Moving
Company News Thursday, July 19, 2012: Magnalube, Inc.
In today’s automated factories, it’s vital that the production and assembly robots run without any unexpected downtime. Robot System Products, a maker of robot peripherals, has found that the right lubricant will go a long way toward extending the working life of robotic systems.
The company designs and manufactures a wide range of robotic peripherals–including tool changers, swivel units, swivel tool changers, and valve units. All of these various end effectors contain multiple moving parts that must be properly-lubricated to move smoothly.
“For many years, we used a standard, oil-based grease to lubricate all of our parts, but it was wearing away over time and shortening the life of our products. In the late 1990s, when we were still a division of ABB, we learned about Magnalube-G at one of ABB’s research facilities in the U.S.,” explains Eddie Eriksson, director of North American sales and marketing for Robot System Products. “This grease is now a key factor in extending the life of our products because it leaves a fine film of lubrication after the initial oil application wears away. I guess you could say we’re addicted to it now.”
Eriksson notes that all parts must go through a wear-in phase before use. Prior to this phase, Magnalube-G grease is applied to all surfaces of mating parts with a brush, including where pistons and gaskets enter the tool changers, and to lubricate gaskets that rotate with the pistons in the swivel units and valve units. The fact that Magnalube-G is waterproof is another important factor in its performance, says Eriksson, as certain robotic applications require the use of water in addition to compressed air.
Robot System Products continues to use Magnalube-G as its all-purpose lubricant, in addition to selling containers to its customer base as requested.
“Besides using Magnalube-G to lubricate our finished products during the wear-in phase, we also find this grease extremely useful during initial product assembly. It’s just a great all-around grease,” says Eriksson.