Welding Robot Automation Process
Welding robots process is improving the weld with robotic welding. Therefore, the most well-known welding processes automation is arc welding, laser welding, and plasma cutting welding, TIG and spot-welding robots. Besides, industrial robots always increasing production speed, but the main feature is that robots produce quality welds and reducing errors. Additionally, automation systems help the manufacturer offer the staff a new position within the company as robot operators. In Fact, by adopting welding automation processes, companies are becoming more competitive, provide high standards welding. Actually, we have a great selection of welding robots for sale.
Top Types of Welding Robots
Although this is far from a comprehensive list, the following are some of the most common types of welding robots:
- Arc Welding: This is a welding process that uses primarily electricity to join metal to metal. The car manufacturing industry was one of the first industries to use largely this type of welding.
- Resistance Welding: Delivering energy savings and efficiencies. It is current is passed between two metal pieces of metal. Thus, the heat will join two pieces together. This type of robot is the most economical form of robotic welding and is best for heat-treating projects.
- Spot Welding: This welding process can even join aluminium or other raw materials that are not normally weld.
Robotic Welding Cell
More and more we are finding industrial robots in welding operations where in the past traditionally this was a manual process.
Advantages of using Six-Axis Robot for Welding
There are some clear advantages of using a six-axis robot for welding:
- The welding environment is not an ideal for humans, but the welding flash, heat or fumes do not affect the robot.
- Once programmed the robot path will be very repeatable and consistent. Each job runs on that cell will have the same good quality.
- Unlike a human welder, the robot won’t require any breaks and therefore can run if required for 24 hours 7 days a week.
Main elements for Robotic Welding Cell
Let’s now look at a few considerations to take into account the welding cell.
In terms of producing the welding tool paths, there are essentially two methods used. One method is to hand teach by jogging the robot from the teach pendant and recording the positions. The alternative is to use CAD-CAM software to program the tool paths offline.
1. Two Position Turntable for welding operations
It is common for installations to feature some form of a two-position turntable. This will allow removing the completed parts and new parts reloaded whilst the robot is welding on the parts previously loaded.
It may be the case that the parts need to be re-orientated during the welding process either for access for the welding torch or to keep the weld path horizontal. In this situation, you can use an integrated positioner, whereby the axes of the positioner are controlled directly by the robot. In the case of this type of workpiece presentation, there will again be two stations one for the operator to load and unload and the other for the robot to carry out the welding operations. However, the rotational axis, in this case, will be part of the robot’s own movement. There will be two or three additional axis for each station allowing the robot to rotate the part both horizontally and vertically.
2. Welding Robots
Having talked about some of the considerations to take into account we will now have a look at the main elements that make up the majority of robotic welding cells.
Firstly, we have the six-axis robot itself. Considerations here are for payload and envelope or reach. Most welding systems tend to have a lightweight torch and the reach required that denotes the robot type. (Because of the services brought to the torch it is also a good idea to take into account the drag on the wrist that these may introduce particularly if there is a lot of wrist re-orientation during the welding motion.
3. Integrated Turntable for welding tasks
As mentioned previously there is usually some form of part presentation turntable the most basic being a simple two-position device that has two stations one for the operator and the other for the robot. The operator can either drive the turntable into position by an output from the robot itself driving a simple motor or by the operator turning the turntable by hand and the robot controlling the rotation via a locking shotbolt.
Where it is required that the part is tilted or rotated during the welding process, it will require an integrated turntable. These can have different configurations and different numbers of axes depending on the requirements for the movements necessary.
4. Torch and welding equipment
Fitted to the robot will be the torch and associated equipment along with a weld controller. As standard, we favour a Fronius setup. The central control and regulation unit of the power sources is coupled with a digital signal processor. The central control and regulation unit and the signal processor control the entire welding process.
The data is measure continuously during the welding process, and the device responds immediately to any changes. Control algorithms ensure that the desired target state is maintained.
This results in:
- A precise welding process.
- Exact reproducibility of all results.
- Excellent weld properties.
Mounted near the robot but out of the work, the area will be mounted a tip clean stand. This allows for several actions to be carried out.
Firstly, the robot will move over to the wire cut device which will trim the welding wire to the correct length.
5. Tip Cleaning
Second, as the nozzle of the torch will suffer a build-up of weld spatter over time there is a reamer fitted to the tip clean which will move up inside the nozzle to clean the tip of this build-up. The removed spatter will fall into a removable collection dish mounted under the reamer.
Lastly, the robot moves the torch over to the parting agent spray system. Then, it will spray a parting agent up into the newly reamed nozzle.
6. Cell Safety Panel
To control the complete cell a safety panel with cell control pushbuttons will be installed which is electrically connected to the robot controller. This panel will include the safety relays for the two safety circuits for both the robot and positioner. One circuit will be for the Estops, these will stop the robot in all modes, the other will be for the cell access and this will stop the robot and positioner whenever the robot is in Auto mode if the access door to the cell is opened.
7. Fixturing and Clamping
For mounting the part or parts some form of fixture jig will be required. As this fixturing relates to the customer’s parts, we normally supply the work table but not the fixturing itself.
The quality of the jigs that hold the parts prior to welding is very important for the quality of the finished job. The parts need to be located with high repeatability and also rigidly to ensure that no movement takes place during the welding process. Secondly, the clamping arrangement is very important to avoid having clamps and supports that get in the way of the weld path that the torch needs to take.
In picture number 8 we can see an example of a customer’s fixturing and clamping arrangement.
8. Robot Cell Guarding
The cell will need some form of guarding. Thus, this form a room or enclosure will make sure that nobody is present whilst the robot is working in automatic. The guarding or room enclosure will have any access points protected by a two-channel safety system which is integrated into the safety panel. The guarding will also protect against the flash from the welding process.
There are a number of two-channel booth access safety systems that can be used from a simple two-channel safety switch connected to the safety relays on the safety panel. In this case, the access to the cell via the door does not prevent the personnel from entering but will automatically stop the robot if someone does when the robot is running in automatic.
In manual mode allows all access for programming of the robot path trajectories when necessary but in this case, it will limit the speed at 250mm per second.
Alternatively, it is possible to have a key exchange system. It will prevent the staff to keep shut in the cell when the process starts.
One such popular system is the Fortress Lock system shown below. In this case, there is a master key which allows the release of one or more cell access keys. Unless all the cell access keys are back the system cannot be enabled in automatic mode.
Technical Datasheet Welding Robot Cell with Pricing
Robotic Welding Systems
The welding robot system can help to protect staff from hazardous jobs and robots handle dangerous tasks. While the ultra-fine and extremely light fine dust particles represent a threat to the manual welders, the robots are able to work on this environment without any risk. Please see below our welding robots for sale list.
Also, manufacturing robots are suitable for lifting heavy loads without any work incident. We offer tailored packages based on budget and requirements. We provide full integration from helping to select the right robot to the completion of the project. Nevertheless, our vast expertise and many years of robot integration experience, allow us to know exactly where to find affordable welding robots for sale.
How much does an Industrial Robot Cost?
Robot Store provides certified reconditioned industrial used robots for welding applications from any brand manufacturer at a fraction of the price of a new robot. Some robots manufacture adds more features for specific robot applications but in the end, a good robot integrator can integrate any second-hand robots or new industrial robots such as Used FANUC Robots, Used KUKA Robots, Used ABB Robots, Motoman and others industrial robots.
Welder Robots provide a fast return on investment and save costs. It’s not just about to sell the robot, our goal is to accomplish all customers’ needs and see the robot welding application working properly according to customer’s requirements. We had installed new welding systems as well as used robot systems for large, small and mid-size companies worldwide.
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