Welding automation is becoming a much more robust and mature process. Since the 1980s welding automation has quickly become effective at meeting production demands at fast rates, whilst also being economical, efficient, dependable and safe – allowing for further protection of workers from dangerous, repetitive tasks.
6-axis robot systems are able to more than mimic a human arm’s movement within a cell and allow the torch to be placed exactly where necessary in order to work in the most efficient, repeatable position.
In both small and large industry, welding is used extensively as a means of fabrication and repair for almost any application. Processes of Robotic Welding include MIG Welding, TIG Welding, Laser and Spot Welding.
These benefits are causing the welding robot market to yield growth rates faster than any other industrial robot. This is evident in the estimate that the automated welding and accessories division alone will be worth $1.9 billion in 2017.
Benefits of Robotic Welding:
Speed: Robotic welding systems will work continuously without interruption, 24/7. There is less handling compared to a manual weld cycle so the robot achieves much higher levels of arc-on time and typically will increase output by a factor of two to four. Subsequently you will see a dramatic increase in your throughput and productivity that increases your company’s overall efficiency.
Accuracy: Regulations ensure that Robotic Welding systems make less errors than a manual welding system which decreases wasted time and material. Robotic welding systems can be designed to reach small/difficult places.
Consistency: The regulations and resulting accuracy produce weldments that are extremely consistent. This increases the confidence in the product quality, every single time.
Safety: Flashes, fumes, sparks and heat make welding a very dangerous task. Automating welding protects workers from these dangers – robots are resistant to these dangers. Compensation claims from workers being put in harm’s way can also be reduced.
Cost Reduction: The cost of manual welding can be steep as it requires time, skill, and concentration. Robotic welding takes less time and allows you to cut costs of direct labor, conserve energy (fewer start-ups), and conserving materials. Insurance and accident related costs are also reduced. The cost savings that robot welding brings can help companies to be more competitive with low cost manufacturing countries in Eastern Europe or China.
Quality: A robot has an excellent path following accuracy and can present a welding gun at the correct welding angle, speed, and distance at a very high repeatable accuracy (± 0.04 mm). This presents the ability for optimum welding conditions to be used for each and every joint which results in consistent high quality output, 24/7, with reduced costs for rework, scrap, wire consumption, or removal of weld splatter.
Labor: Manual welding will always be required to some degree, but it brings its own sets of challenges, including training, recruitment, and dealing with a high turnover rate, which can itself cause high costs to a business. Robotic Welding Automation brings much more stability and dependability for your company.
Flexibility: The robot can be used to weld many different products such as MIG, TIG, SMAW, FCAW, SAW, and PAW. This also allows companies to produce a variety of products with a very quick turnaround.
Floor space: Compared to the same output from manual welding bays the robot requires less floor space.
Article sourced from Robotworx: https://www.robots.com/articles/viewing/arc-welding-101