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Title: Design of an intelligent embedded system for condition monitoring of an industrial robot
Authors: Jaber, Alaa Abdulhady
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Industrial robots have long been used in production systems in order to improve productivity, quality and safety in automated manufacturing processes. There are significant implications for operator safety in the event of a robot malfunction or failure, and an unforeseen robot stoppage, due to different reasons, has the potential to cause an interruption in the entire production line, resulting in economic and production losses. Condition monitoring (CM) is a type of maintenance inspection technique by which an operational asset is monitored and the data obtained is analysed to detect signs of degradation, diagnose the causes of faults and thus reduce maintenance costs. So, the main focus of this research is to design and develop an online, intelligent CM system based on wireless embedded technology to detect and diagnose the most common faults in the transmission systems (gears and bearings) of the industrial robot joints using vibration signal analysis. To this end an old, but operational, PUMA 560 robot was utilized to synthesize a number of different transmission faults in one of the joints (3 - elbow), such as backlash between the gear pair, gear tooth and bearing faults. A two-stage condition monitoring algorithm is proposed for robot health assessment, incorporating fault detection and fault diagnosis. Signal processing techniques play a significant role in building any condition monitoring system, in order to determine fault-symptom relationships, and detect abnormalities in robot health. Fault detection stage is based on time-domain signal analysis and a statistical control chart (SCC) technique. For accurate fault diagnosis in the second stage, a novel implementation of a time-frequency signal analysis technique based on the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is adopted. In this technique, vibration signals are decomposed into eight levels of wavelet coefficients and statistical features, such as standard deviation, kurtosis and skewness, are obtained at each level and analysed to extract the most salient feature related to faults; the artificial neural network (ANN) is then used for fault classification. A data acquisition system based on National Instruments (NI) software and hardware was initially developed for preliminary robot vibration analysis and feature extraction. The transmission faults induced in the robot can change the captured vibration spectra, and the robot’s natural frequencies were established using experimental modal analysis, and also the fundamental fault frequencies for the gear transmission and bearings were obtained and utilized for preliminary robot condition monitoring. In addition to simulation of different levels of backlash fault, gear tooth and bearing faults which have not been previously investigated in industrial robots, with several levels of ii severity, were successfully simulated and detected in the robot’s joint transmission. The vibration features extracted, which are related to the robot healthy state and different fault types, using the data acquisition system were subsequently used in building the SCC and ANN, which were trained using part of the measured data set that represents the robot operating range. Another set of data, not used within the training stage, was then utilized for validation. The results indicate the successful detection and diagnosis of faults using the key extracted parameters. A wireless embedded system based on the ZigBee communication protocol was designed for the application of the proposed CM algorithm in real-time, using an Arduino DUE as the core of the wireless sensor unit attached on the robot arm. A Texas Instruments digital signal processor (TMS320C6713 DSK board) was used as the base station of the wireless system on which the robot’s fault diagnosis algorithm is run. To implement the two stages of the proposed CM algorithm on the designed embedded system, software based on the C programming language has been developed. To demonstrate the reliability of the designed wireless CM system, experimental validations were performed, and high reliability was shown in the detection and diagnosis of several seeded faults in the robot. Optimistically, the established wireless embedded system could be envisaged for fault detection and diagnostics on any type of rotating machine, with the monitoring system realized using vibration signal analysis. Furthermore, with some modifications to the system’s hardware and software, different CM techniques such as acoustic emission (AE) analysis or motor current signature analysis (MCSA), can be applied.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering

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