Robot welding – cooperation with parent partnership Base Group
Welding – often defined as a 3D process: dirty, dusty, dangerous – has always belonged to the most frequently robotised production technologies.
One of the main factors in favour of welding process robotisation is increasing of productivity. It is achieved mainly by increasing availability of a welding station and improving the quality of joints. Repeatability of robot moves reduces the risk of rejected items resulting from fatigue and, when properly selecting process parameters, eliminates the need to rework (grinding of welds, spatters). Robotisation is also increasing the control over technological process parameters.
The use of industrial robots in welding applications means also savings due to the reduction of material costs. Optimisation of welding process parameters, depending on its complexity level, may even generate as much as 10-20% savings in welding materials.
Robotisation also means prestige – a factor which is difficult to convert into money. A robot working inside an engine room creates the image of a modern company that follows technological advances.
Main advantages of robotised welding:
- Reliability and repeatability of production
Robots work with consistent capacity during each hour and each shift. By using robots we also reduce the likelihood of error occurrence resulting from fatigue or decreased fitness during afternoon and night shifts.
A robot will always make an identical joint in the same position. Therefore, it is usually very helpful in increasing the quality and productivity, since hand welding often does not guarantee sufficient repeatability and quality of welds. Therefore reworking is necessary. Consequently, the time that could be used to increase productivity is lost, and the costs increase, as well.
- Increased production flexibility
One of common reasons for making the decision to invest in a robotised system is production efficiency that can be obtained by a company by implementing robots in relation to the current state of affairs, when manual or semi-automatic welding process are applied. In most cases, robotised welding is two to five times faster than any other method. This means that during each hour it is potentially possible to increase the number of final products by two to five times – in relation to the current production. Modern tables and fixtures enable to fix simultaneously multiple components, which means that when using a robotised welding station you can also weld complex shapes.
After signing a new contract or making a decision to extend a company’s business profile, robots will be able to meet new, more demanding expectations without any problems. The only thing to do is to adjust control software, and you will be able to produce new range of products.
- Reduction of training costs
Nowadays, it is very difficult to find qualified welding equipment operators. Poland’s accession to the European Union and opening the borders for workers caused a rapid outflow of well-trained professionals. Therefore, many companies are charged with very high labour costs to be able to maintain their production. At the same time in order to keep their market position they must reduce other costs so that the products offered could be still competitive in terms of their price and quality. An even greater challenge is to find employees who will keep pace with changing welding technologies and who also will be willing to continuously improve their skills. Some companies have focused on this aspect as much that they organise training courses for their own staff. Many entrepreneurs will confirm the thesis that it takes at least 6 months of daily work to train a good welder.
- Increasing welding process control
Software of modern robots allows better tracking of a production process. One of the examples is a welding process monitor that allows tracking and recording of all welding parameters in real time. Monitoring parameters in that way can be performed by means Ethernet and a company’s central database in which all those parameters will be saved. Another applicable software option is an automatic error correction function that enables a robot to return quickly and automatically to its original position in order to avoid unwanted interference with surrounding. A lot of complex operations such as making weave beads come down to selecting a weld cycle and specifying its amplitude and duration. A robot automatically calculates a trajectory on a regular basis to properly perform required task.
- Reduced consumption of welding materials
The investment in a robotised welding station reduces the number of joints that are too thick, which often occur in case of manual welding. Welders usually leave some safety margin for each weld they make, and that is why they usually use more welding materials than it is actually needed. Additionally, they make a bead longer than it is necessary. Robots are much more precise. Operations performed by robots usually generate fewer spatters and smaller amount of waste welding materials. That additionally reduces labour costs related, for instance, to grinding of welds in order to achieve their final appearance.
- See also: welding – offer