Robotics: Purchasing Your First Robotic Welding System

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Welding | 346 comments

If the welding market has something to learn from the last ten years, it’s that the best of doing business has forever been increased. Consequently, the significant issue for the new millennium isn’t if any specific metal fabricator will embrace robotic welding technologies, but rather when and how. Automation is going to be an issue of survival, but not just for large stores developing a lot of bits, but also for the little fabricator, for whom the ability to elevate productivity while decreasing prices will ascertain the true viability of his organization.

This expansion rated hastened in the subsequent decade, occasionally with an abysmal rate as large as 32 percent.

More frequently than not, first-time buyers of autonomous systems approach the buying choice with trepidation. To tackle this fear, we have to dispel the myths surrounding robotics generally, and especially, robotic welding methods.

The Truth
1. It requires a “rocket scientist” to program a robot
2. Only high-quantity production runs warrant installing
3. The robot operator has to be a highly educated, skilled and paid employee
4. Robotic welding cells are very costly and hard to cost justify
5. Robots can’t be used to weld huge parts or assemblies

Programming a robot is quite straightforward. Even employees who have to overcome a language barrier may learn how to program a robot in just two weeks, as a result of this easy interactive display on the ring.

2. It isn’t required to give a robot into one task such as creating just 1 part. Together with the amount of welding components programs which could be kept in a robot controller unit’s memory, then it’s likely to go from 1 component to another area very fast when the tooling parts are correctly made for fast change. Many distinct components can be reached in the same welding mobile on a specific day.

3. No robot can address a welding quality issue all alone. If the pieces aren’t designed correctly, the bit parts aren’t created correctly, or the welding joints aren’t properly prepared or presented to the robot, there’ll be issues with quality.

4. Getting an extremely proficient welder requires years of expertise, practice and training, whereas a robotic welding mobile operator just has to load the component, press the appropriate buttons to trigger the machine, and then unload the component. The practice of a robot operator may take less than one hour.


5. After the market trends of their desktop and notebook computers, the real dollar price of a robotic welding cell has fallen dramatically over the past ten decades. During precisely the same period, applications capabilities, programming simplicity, movement speed and precision have all been improved.


6. It isn’t true that a robot may weld any part which could be welded manually or semi-automatically. Clamping demands, accessibility issues or special positioning requirements can make using a robotic welding cell impractical or impossible. Read more.

7. Robots can be placed on paths or gantries, providing them with the capacity to weld components which are 40 to 50 feet long and 8 or 10 feet wide.

8. Software support and specialist part layout assistance will help to give achievement in robotic welding applications. Typically, a particular piece of hardware won’t be an integral success element. Software experience, however, is crucial.

Making the Choice
After the myths regarding robotic welding cells are debunked, a corporation will be prepared to assess the advantages vs actual expenses. This procedure will be best if it’s done along with the proposed robotic mobile seller. Involving the seller in the starting phases of piece part design will considerably improve the fabricator’s use of robotic technologies to the particular product line and manufacturing requirements.

The decision-making procedure starts with a comprehensive review of these things: the components to be welded; weld joint availability; repeatability of those components; tooling nest (or fixturing) demands; methods to compensate for distortion; and also conclusion of the welding procedure to be utilized.

As the choice process evolves, the seller and the fabricator will keep on working with each other to ascertain the suitable platform accessories, including security devices, the best design for the autonomous cell, training and labour requirements, and support and maintenance requirements (inner vs outside vendor service).

The robot mobile layout must contemplate not only providing space for your job movement device, power supply, robot control and cable feed bundle, however just how the piece part is sent into the region, and the way the final part leaves the area. Work stream simplicity characterizes a fantastic cell design.

Look out for Pitfalls
It needs to be evident by now that the seller who sees the purchase to get a robotic welding program as a one-time-opportunity sale won’t offer the complete support web that’s essential to the client’s success. A seller who knows the fabricator’s company, and also the way to make that fabricator’s merchandise with or without robotics, provides critical input throughout the lengthy conclusion and layout phase, in addition to essential ongoing support following the machine is online.

Although it’s correct that many robotic welding procedures are much easier and easier to use compared to ordinary fabricator might believe, it’s likewise a fact that the transfer to automatic welding systems posed a set of issues which didn’t exist (or at least weren’t important) when your welder controlled the flashlight. The proficient welder can compensate for sloppy or ill-designed fittings, varying trimming lines and measurements of bit parts. An experienced welder is also effective at overcoming problems with the welding gear, cable delivery or even the shielding gas distribution.

Robotic welding techniques require closer attention to quality from the piece part manufacturing procedure. Additionally, clamping and fixturing should be precise. These requirements only point out the value of thinking about tooling nest layout problems early in the purchase decision procedure.

When a component is a fixture, and also the production tolerances become evident for the first time, an individual operator may make a selection between correcting welding parameters and procedure or rejecting the components. Today, robotic welding methods may integrate vision capabilities that offer for correcting electrode welding and position parameters to allow quality automatic welding even on components with variants.

Price Justification

When the suitable decision-making procedure is followed, it’s frequently feasible to justify the expense of a laser welding system by simply relying upon somewhat standard steps. It is becoming truer in the last ten years since robotics have provided increasingly greater performance at drastically reduced prices, while labour and benefit costs have continued to grow.

The rigorous training required to create expert welders, the comparative lack of trained welders in several areas of the nation, and the possible ramifications of employee turnover are seldom-considered welding expenses. The financial consequences of the factors might be subtle, but they are nevertheless important.

The issue of finding enough highly skilled welders to fulfil a sudden, big arrangement, has influenced many businesses in our market at the same time or another. Now, in reality, fewer fresh welders are being educated, and lots of experienced welders are coming retirement. Any attempt to cost-justify a robotic welding program should take into consideration the comparative ease (and small cost) of training somebody to load and load a welding cell. This may take a couple of minutes or hours vs the many years required to create a completely capable welder operator. The lack of highly skilled labour means we should also factor into our cost-justification situation the price of inferior quality, such as rework, scrap and, most important, client dissatisfaction.

Worker and ecological security variables give robotic welding procedures yet another advantage from the cost-justification procedure. Failure to abide by OSHA and EPA criteria can be costly. Last, improvements in electrode engineering and welding torches, when coupled with automation improved using vision systems, permit welding in speeds good enough to attain overall cost reductions.

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