Featured Image Caption: Automated Welding
Robotic or automation welding helps to improve the quality of metalwork and speed up production. This method of welding was implemented decades ago, and it keeps improving. Before setting up an automated welding system in your company or workshop, you need to know how it works and is maintained. You need to know the various types of equipment, their designs, and applications. You also need to know how it’s going to affect your employees. This post is going to explore the various kinds of robotic welding systems and their use.
Automated welding is one of the top industrial uses of robotics. 50% of the world’s robotics are used in the welding industry. This is according to the International Federation of Robotics. Robotic welding was first used in 1962 by General Motors in vehicle manufacturing. They introduced automated welding to protect workers from injuries that were caused by heavy voltage and molten metal. Today, automated welding is used worldwide in many industries, but mostly in the automotive industry. Robotic welding improves efficiency, counters worker shortage, and quickens production. A good example is the weldsaver welding system.
Types of Robotic Welding
Robotic welding is grouped into three categories:
- Arc welding (MIG or TIG)
- Spot welding
- Laser welding
The most commonly used material in automated welding is sheet metal. The sheet can either be made from stainless or mild steel or aluminum. Other metal components that are welded using robots include nuts, tubes, and caps. The number of applications used in the metal industry has increased the dexterity of multi-axis arms cutting edge designs and welding water savers.
Parts Found in a Robotic Welding System
Looking at the system at a glance, it may seem that all that is needed to function are the robotic arm and the torch. In a real sense, many components make up a robot welder. These parts are used to improve efficiency and safety. In most cases, these welding machines are automated in full-cycle, not just the welding. This will depend on the production goals and the type of application.
Robotic Welding Power Supply
Robotic welding machines need a huge amount of energy to run efficiently. Power is needed to create heat for welding. There are several options of power supply, depending on the application requirements and type of welding. For shielding gases, supply lines and cables are needed.
Many factors need consideration when choosing a multi-axis robotic arm. These factors include:
- The movement styles
- The size of the workpiece
- The reach of the robotic arm
- The weight that the welding arm can support
- Workpiece position
- The type of welding water saver
The torch is used to melt the metal used in welding. It requires a huge amount of energy to run. For TIG arc welding and MIG, bulk electrode wire supply holders and wire feeders are needed. Electrodes are vital for resistance spot welding.
Laser for Laser Welding
For efficiency, peripheral equipment is needed. These include a wire cutter to trim excess wire, parts from excess spatter, a torch changing station, a nozzle cleaning station/reamer. There is also a need for covers to protect cables and other devices.
Sensors are vital in the metalwork industry for safety measures and to prevent machine damage. Types of sensors used in robotic welding include:
- Collision sensors – These types of safety sensors help to avoid other equipment from coming to contact with the torch.
- Seam finding sensors – These sensors are handy for ensuring that the welded part has the best quality in terms of placement.
- Vision sensors – These types of sensors are used to verify clamp and part position.
Benefits of Robotic Welding
Unlike manual welding, robotic welding has many benefits. These benefits often lead to high-quality finishes, higher productivity, and low cost of operation. The benefits that robotic welding offers has made this metalwork technology expand rapidly in the last few years. However, if you want to get the best robot welding systems, you need to research keenly for proper types of automated welding equipment and their applications.
Other types of robotic welding processes include:
- Resistance Spot Welding
- Laser Hybrid Welding
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Plasma welding
- Thin Gauge Arc Welding
- Laser welding
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
When dealing with robotic welding, the best outcome is to identify the type of welding process you require for your products. In different cases, these welding processes will have pros and cons. If you are unsure which type of robotic welding machines to go for, it is wise to consult the manufacturers first. You will get plenty of information about welding equipment and its applications.
Besides automation peripherals, connected software also needs to be considered. These include remote support, performance analysis, and machine communication.
The application of the welding system will determine how complex or simple it is. There are simply welding machines that are only operated using the on and off button. Complex systems require certain computer programs to run it. The operators will control the robotic welding remotely using a computer. The screen will display factors such as parts positioning, monitoring sensors, conveyance to the next station.
The introduction of robotics in industries and various fields has made it easier for plants and companies to increase productivity, enhance safety in the workplace, and improve the quality of finished products. The type of robotic welding system to be used depends on the application at hand. Therefore the user needs to research first before making a choice.
By Naman Modi
who is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at Proteus Industries Inc. He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.