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How exactly does one orchestrate the movements of a welding robot arm, welding torch, and positioner? What about adjusting wire feeders, power sources and inputting multiple welding commands? With RobotWorx' free customer training, welding robot programming doesn't have to remain a mystery. We offer one-on-one training to all our robotic welding system customers.
Over the years, welding automation has become more and more common, and that has cause the price of robotic welding systems to drop dramatically. This price drop, coupled with the option to buy used systems for even less, has led to an increase in small and mid-level companies making the switch from manual to automated welding, which is evening out the marketplace and causing a higher level of competition across the board.
Over the last 10 years, as the economy has been in flux, there has been a rise in robotic welding purchases. Many companies see automated welding as the future of industrial welding, but one question still hangs in the air for manual welders everywhere – with robotic welding automation becoming the way of the future, will we be completely out of a job? The short answer is no. A successful welding process, no matter whether it is automated or manual, needs real people.
There are many different reasons to make the switch to automated arc or spot welding, and one of those reasons is the safety of your workers. It is important to create a safe automated welding work place so that your employees feel like they are able to work without risk of injury or illness. It is important to control air contaminates during the welding process if you want to create a safe work space for your human workers.
In the last two decades, there has been a big push toward automating robotic welding because of the advantages it brings to a welding application, like improved quality, speed and accuracy. However, if you want to automate your welding application, there are some factors you should consider beforehand, to ensure automation is appropriate for your facility and application. Process flow is a very important factor when considering integrating automation into your existing welding application.
Cameras have been attached to material handling and machining robots in recent years to give the robots a sense of sight, which further improves their accuracy. Welding robots have not been left out of this mix and have welding cameras that help them to create their own form of vision, which can improve images and allow the robot operator to see things that the human eye would not necessarily be able to see while performing manual welding practices.
While ultrasonic welding has not been one of the most popular forms of robotic welding in the past, it is beginning to gain popularity in the market places as it continues to improve. Companies that once thought ultrasonic robot welding was only good for making one type of product at a time now see the flexibility and other advantages that these robotic systems have gained over the years. As mentioned above, one of the greatest advantages of a robotic ultrasonic welder is the flexibility.
If you want to have a successful robotic welding system in your production facility, then you have to make sure you select the right welding gun, and you are able to properly install the welding gun on the robot. Once you have that under control, there really isn’t too much you have to – as long as you make sure that you perform regular maintenance on your robotic GMAW gun.
Things are always changing in the world of manufacturing – parts change, products change, and the speed and way these parts and products need to be made changes as well. That is why companies invest in automated welding cells that have the flexibility to meet all of the manufacturer’s ever-changing needs. Some flexible welding cells take a modular approach, which gives the manufacturer more freedom to move components as necessary.
There are many different interfaces one can use when programming an industrial robot. Many companies use conventional interfaces with teach pendants, other companies use online programming (especially for teaching purposes), but some companies have switched to offline programming, and this type of programming is even easier to use and can exponentially improve your programmer’s ability to interact with the robot.
Robotic welding was one of the first industrial applications to become automated, along with painting. These two robotic applications were snapped up early on by the automobile industry, and today welding for the large automotive companies is performed almost exclusively by robots, whether the batch is large or small. Batch welding with robots wasn’t always popular, especially with small batches.