Different Serial Measurement Boards for the same ABB Robot

The purpose of the Serial Measurement Board (SMB) is to track the location of the various axes on the robot by recording the encoder value attached to each motor on each axis. If the robot looses power the battery attached to the SMB will recall the last known position of the motors when power was lost. Allowing the robot to wake up knowing the location of each axis and continue where it last left off . The SMB and battery can be found in the base of the robot. These batteries need to be changed periodically. This is usually done during preventative maintenance of the robot although not necessarily every time.

Why we need to ask for the part number: and why the robot type and serial number isn’t enough?
the answer is simple: it’s all about versioning.
Manufacturers release different versions of the same robot model over time, and each version may have unique features or improvements that require different spare parts. These changes may be driven by factors such as improvements in the design, advances in technology or certain components not being available anymore.
Even with the same robot type you find different versions due to parts replaced over the years of operation etc.
To minimise your robot downtime, it’s important to identify the correct part number to order.
Photo below,
3 different SMB’s & batteries from 3 identical robots

The battery on the left is 4944026-4 with 6 cells , the middle is 3HAC16831-1 with 3 cells and the one on the right is 3HAC044075-001 with 2 cells

SMB Serial Measurement Board
SMB Serial Measurement Boards

When time really matters.

They say that time somehow moves slower in the regional areas. Well, that’s not true for one of Robot Spares newest customer, who is a producer in beautiful Kyabram, central Victoria, about 200km from Melbourne.

Like many companies in regional areas, they are a pretty self-sufficient outfit, but everyone needs a little help sometimes.

We received a phone call from them late in 2020, their production was down and they urgently needed an I/O card for their ABB Robot to replace one they thought was faulty. We had one in stock and the planets aligned in their favour because their Financial Director was in Melbourne on other business, so he was in a position to pick up the part and take it back with him on the same day.

By 7pm that evening, they had replaced the card, and unfortunately, determined that the card was not faulty as suspected, and they would appreciate onsite support.

Per and Ash organised to be on site early the next morning and diagnosed that the problem was actually, with the I/O signals in the PLC and not the robot, so the problem was resolved, and they quickly got back into production.

We gladly took the I/O board back into our stock and sorted out the required paperwork after returning to Melbourne.

Early in 2021, we returned to site to carry our preventative maintenance for them.

At Robot Spares, we pride ourselves on customer service, it is one of the reasons Robot Spares exists. We’ve got nearly 100 years of collective experience in robotics, and have lots of spares in stock, including complete robots, we also represent Global Robot Parts (Spare parts for your ABB industrial robots | Global Robot Parts) Swedish company for refurbished parts, normally delivered to Australia within 5 days.

Message from Per

So, 2020’s coming to an end. I’m sure we agree that it can’t come soon enough and wish that 2021 is so much better. We hope that all of you, your families, co-workers, friends, and your business’ have come through safely.

Mik and I, and the Robot Spares team, have been really busy supporting industry in 2020 and you’ve given us the most variety we’ve had since we started in 2012.

Early in the year we needed to quickly find a way to ensure we could get fast delivery of refurbished parts from Sweden so that we could keep up. This was soon sorted out by Gail and Mik.

We’ve seen an increase in demand for our hose-pack and tool systems from RSP, as well as a lot of companies taking advantage in the slowdown to book in essential maintenance of their robots.

We’ve developed  a NEW cost-effective way for companies to have a robot quickly, for short term things like proof-of-concept or plugging a gap while they wait for the delivery of their new robots. Called “Robots as a Service”, you’ll hear a lot more about this in 2021.

We improved our stock control, upgraded our office, have more used robots and spare parts on hand than ever, so while it’s been crazy, some good to come out of 2020.

I’m happy to see optimism in local manufacturing, and also how many people and companies have gone out of their way to help others in tough times. Hard times bring out the best in people.

Have a safe Christmas that many of us will appreciate like never before.



Uptime is as much about the right spare part as it is speed of getting the replacement.

We’ve seen too many small and medium companies come to us, telling us that they bought the “right” part off one of the popular online sales platforms, only to find that its didn’t fit, was from the wrong model or simply doesn’t work.

It’s worse when we get to site, and they give us this “right” part and we have to give them the bad news while their production is down.

Robot Spares is all about getting you up and running as quickly as possible, and we don’t disagree that the world of online buying is great and we fully support it, but we also believe you should do it through a specialist company that will take you through a series of questions about your robot first, and once the question is qualified, then the actual right part can be supplied.

Used obsolete parts are abundant on the Internet and often come with an option for express delivery. The price might be cheap, and sellers even sometimes offer a warranty. At first glance, it seems like a great deal. But the onus to select the right part is on you and often you not only lose more production, but the cost of the part as well

When buying used you don’t really know the conditions of the item. How long has the part been used for, and how intensely? If it has it been maintained?

Then there are the used robots. We’ve seen people spend good money on used robots and then they try and buy that missing part, from the teach pendant to a control board only to find that they are no longer available or will cost more than they paid for the robot. They’ve lost time and their money, and sometimes go away never to automate again.

Just like parts, if you need used robots, you should use a company like Robot Spares to make sure you get a robot that works, that you know the history of, and is suitable for what you want to do.

Robot System Products (RSP)

Did you know that Robot Spares has been representing the global leader in robot peripheral products, Robot System Products (RSP) since 2014
Also, that cables are thought to be the number 1 reasons that robots fail, especially installa-tions that have a lot of movements.
After a Management buyout from ABB in 2003, RSP have gone on to develop the best quali-ty and value tool systems and hose packs on the market.
It’s even better now, as RSP have released an “add in” for ABB’s Robot Studio simulation package. It allows you to import a robot with full RSP Tool Packages into your simulation, which not only shows up potential problems, but gives you the RSP way to solve it.
This can save the integrator lots of programming hours, and using an integrated pack also saves lots of hours dressing the robot in real life.
We offer the full range, from Tool changers and Swivel Tool Changers, to hose packages, tool systems and their unique CiRo flexible cable system.

Check out this video for more info on the robot Studio.