Sampling Kit Available For Robot Grease Sampling and Analysis

August 7, 2015 [York, PA]: MRG Labs has developed a sampling kit that can be used to analyze the condition of grease lubricated robots utilizing techniques recently published as standards by ASTM. Serving essentially as a “Blood Test” for robots, the kits utilize the Grease Thief sampling tools outlined in ASTM Standard D7718, and methods of analysis listed in the new ASTM D7918 standard for inservice grease testing.
The kits include all the tools needed to obtain representative samples from grease-lubricated robots commonly employed in the automotive and manufacturing industries, such as FANUC, Motoman, Nachi, and Panasonic. The methods outlined in the kit allow for sampling without robot disassembly or grease purging, in most cases, and thus allow for the possibility of periodic grease sampling while the robot is in service. Such in-service samples can help the operator determine the optimal grease re-lubrication frequency, identify contaminants or degraded greases, and discover latent wear issues that can lead to failure. Early detection of latent wear issues can allow pro-active intervention and the avoidance of assembly downtime.
A streamline version of the grease analysis process is included in the cost of the pre-paid sampling kit, which provides two key analysis parameters to screen large numbers of samples for outliers. The approximate 1-gram sample size taken in the Grease Thief can be efficiently evaluated for wear content (ferrous debris in ppm) and the optical profile (colorimetric spectral response). The wear content can be trended and evaluated against criteria, and statistics used to determine action levels for maintenance and intervention. The colorimetric spectrum can be compared to the new, fresh grease to identify potential cases of grease mixing, aging and other contaminants. Together these two screening tests can efficiently and cost-effectively monitor a robot fleet to improve maintenance planning and proactive measures to extend component life.
The pre-paid screening kit includes six protected sampling sleeves, which can be used to sample each of the joints in a six-axis robot. The protective shipping tubes come with a unique barcode to be scanned at the time of sampling. With a free smartphone app, the barcode is scanned, and the operator is asked to input the robot OEM, sample location, the operating environment, the type of grease in use, and the age of the grease. With these variables identified, the resulting data is compared to similar components in a cloud-based compilation of generic data, for an improved analysis and criteria development basis.
More information on this robot monitoring tools is available at
The robot sampling kits can be seen at
More information is available at MRG Labs at 1-717-843-8884 or
To purchase standards mentioned in this report, visit and search by the standard designation D7718 or D7918, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (tel +1.877.909.ASTM;

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