A welding robot is an automated machine that performs welding tasks. Welding and robots go hand in hand. So it’s no surprise that robotic welding applications frequently provide a high return on investment. As a result, many integrators and manufacturers specialize in robotic welding.
Automatic welding has many obvious benefits, including improved weld quality, faster cycle times, and a more pleasant working environment for welders. However, a standard limitation is that robots necessitate a specific skill set to program and run the equipment smoothly. Nevertheless, technology has advanced significantly, allowing for simple methods to achieve quality automated welding without the hassle.
One of the advantages of automating welding operations is studying them for ways to adjust or improve workflow or physical setup. When it comes to the Jigs & fixture design machining process, it’s helpful to think of it as one part of a broader system. When changing out end-effectors automatically, for example, there are multiple stages involved, not just exchanging one tool for another.
Phases in Automated Welding Operations
The welder sets up the pieces to be welded, the apparatus (power supply, robot, robot program, etc. ), the weld settings, and the type of gas and electrode wires during this phase. A robot welding pre-program is accessible and published online when CAD/CAM or other offline programming is used. As a result, the automated program may only require minor calibration tweaking, which the welder operator may readily accomplish by running chosen online simulations of the process.
Automatic welding equipment must have the same capabilities as manual welding equipment, such as maintaining a torch orientation that follows the reference path, performing seam monitoring, and changing weld parameters in real-time, emulating the adaptive behavior of manual welders.
The analysis phase is typically a post-welding phase. The welder operator studies the obtained weld to determine if it is satisfactory or if changes in the previous two stages are required. The use of modern sensors, such as 3D laser cameras, enables this phase to be completed online during the welding phase.
Demand for Automated Technologies
Several sectors increasingly use automated technologies to meet deadlines and improve their sales strategy. The use of automation cuts down on time spent and enhances accuracy. Using robotics enhances precision and decreases the hitches that come with manual work. It increases productivity and allows producers to fulfill deadlines. Robotic welding equipment boosts production while also improving product quality. The rise of various industries and the deployment of automation are expected to drive demand. Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning are projected to boost operational efficiency. These reasons are likely to fuel the expansion of the robotic welding industry.
Types of Robotic Welding
Welding can be classified into numerous types. So naturally, you may be wondering what types of welding robots can perform. Robots are generally capable of doing any welding procedure.
Spot welding is resistance welding that unites two pieces of metal in one place. As a result, “spot welding” is used to describe the process. This method generates a lot of heat, bypassing a lot of electricity through the metal. The metal melts due to the heat, allowing two sheets to be joined.
Arc welding is a form that melts and joins metals by using an electric arc to generate heat. A power source generates an electric arc between a consumable or non-consumable electrode and a base material using direct (DC) or alternating (AC) currents. As a result, metals are joined together with the help of heat.
The heat created by the arc causes the metal to melt, and when it cools, a strong welded bond is formed. Electricity is the power source for arc welding (electric current). Direct (DC) or alternating (AC) currents can be employed (AC).
The phrase “resistance welding” encompasses a variety of welding techniques. Any weld in which electric current is sent through two pieces of metal by direct contact to join them is classified as this. One form of resistance welding is spot welding. Projection welding and seam welding are examples of other methods.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (or GMAW), often known as MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding, is an arc welding method in which a solid MIG wire electrode is pushed via a welding gun to form an arc into the weld pool, heating, melting, and fusing the two base materials.
One form of arc welding is TIG welding. The abbreviation TIG stands for tungsten inert gas. A tungsten electrode creates the arc in this procedure. This method, like MIG welding, uses gas to defend against contamination. GTAW welding is a notoriously tricky technique to master for operators. It also takes longer than other methods of welding. However, what it lacks in speed, it makes up for with a more concentrated, typically stronger, weld.
Laser welding involves focusing a highly concentrated light beam on a remote location, causing the region beneath the laser beam to absorb the light and become highly active. The intense laser beams excite the electrons in the area to the point that the material melts as the atoms break their connections.
TIG welding is comparable to plasma arc welding, and tungsten electrodes are sometimes used. However, it distinguishes the torch’s structure. A tiny copper nozzle on the torch ejects the arc at high speed and temperature.
The plasma arc is widely used in tubing fabrication, among other things (stainless steel, titanium alloy)—plasma over gas tungsten arc welding results in higher production rates due to more extraordinary travel speeds.
Since the first spot welding robot in 1962, robotic welding procedures have advanced significantly. As a result, manufacturers recognize the advantages of robotic welding to stay competitive in an ever-expanding and highly competitive global market.
Robots assist manufacturers in meeting the new needs of a changing market environment by performing dangerous and complex welds with enhanced efficiency and consistency, cheaper costs, and increased productivity. In addition, robotic welding has opened up new possibilities in non-traditional industries thanks to the development of powerful new robots.