Over time, robots degrade because of age and wear, leading to decreased reliability and increasing potential for faults and failures; this negatively impacts robot availability. Economic factors motivate facilities and factories to improve maintenance operations to monitor robot degradation and detect faults and failures, especially to eliminate unexpected shutdowns. Since robot systems are complex, with sub-systems and components, it is challenging to determine these constituent elements’ specific influence on the overall system performance. The development of monitoring, diagnostic, and prognostic technologies (collectively known as Prognostics and Health Management (PHM)), can aid manufacturers in maintaining the performance of robot systems by providing intelligence to enhance maintenance and control strategies. This paper presents the strategy of integrating top level and component level PHM to detect robot performance degradation (including robot tool center accuracy degradation), supported by the development of a four-layer sensing and analysis structure. The top level PHM can quickly detect robot tool center accuracy degradation through advanced sensing and test methods developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The component level PHM supports deep data analysis for root cause diagnostics and prognostics. A reference data set is collected and analyzed using the integration of top level PHM and component level PHM to understand the influence of temperature, speed, and payload on robot’s accuracy degradation.

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