Robot performance measurement is quantifiable in accordance with ISO9283, while robot performance verification is the process of identifying the real geometric parameters present in the kinematic structure of a robot, such as the relative positions of joint links. A total of 14 static and dynamic tests are used to quantify a robot’s absolute performance. This check calculates actual robot performance against the original OEM specifications, quickly determining robot accuracy, repeatability and any inherent robot joint wear.

Robots are historically repeatable but not accurate. Today, many automation tasks require improved process control and a higher order of accuracy than that delivered by robot manufacturers. Typical applications for enhanced robot positional accuracy include machining, drilling, grinding, welding, inspection, deburring and 3D printing. Activities such as robot cell ‘cloning’, ‘cell mirroring’ or ‘robot swapping’ also benefit from enhanced robot accuracy by reducing manual programming time and allowing for seamless and precise offline robot programming. Process capability is improved as a robot positions more accurately to its commanded position, also negating the physical ‘touch-up’ of robot programs.

The delivered solution includes API’s six DoF (Degrees of Freedom) Radian laser tracker complemented by the API Smart Track Sensor, which mounts directly to the robot’s end effector. Smart Track Sensor allows the laser tracker to collect X, Y, Z, and I, J, K data for each robot position in space. The robot is automatically driven to discrete positions using API’s Robot Performance Measurement (RPM) software, providing fully automated measurements and data acquisition. Up to 30 robot parameters can be calibrated in a completely automated run sequence.

RMS can be supplied as an RPM module or combined Robot Calibration (RoboCal) and Robot Path Plan Enhancement (PPE) module. RoboCal offers both a DH kinematic model and a volumetric error compensation model to update robot accuracy using collected data. Once a robot has been calibrated, existing robot path programs can be automatically updated, driving the robot to its corrected calibrated positions. RMS provides access to a library of industrial robots from over 30 manufacturers.