Trends in Robotic Welding Guns

Robotic MIG guns may seem like a small part of the whole automated system, but the evolution of their design and functionality is having a significant impact on the cost, productivity and quality of an application.
Automation/Robotics: Articles

Automated Friction Stir Welding

The world’s largest spacecraft welding tool, the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC), is a giant circumferential welding system that uses FSW to precision weld the fuel tank structures for NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).
Because its low heat input and high strength provide opportunities to redesign structures with increased tensile strength, outstanding fatigue properties, improved corrosion resistance and minimal distortion and shrinkage, FSW could change the way trains, trucks, cars, aircraft and aerospace components, and other common aluminum structures are built.

Step-by-Step Improvements: Understanding the Value of Advanced Welding Information Management Systems

Advanced welding information management systems can help identify and rectify problems very early in the fabrication process. These systems provide complete control over the welding process, increasing both quality and productivity.
To achieve big cost savings, quality improvements and productivity enhancements, advanced data management systems can manage and control almost any factor – before, during and after the actual welding process.

How to Improve Robotic Welding Production

Understanding the fixed costs and the variable costs in each step of the process is an important step for increasing throughput in robotic welding. Once these have been identified and measured as key cost drivers, that information can be used to decide where to focus attention for improvement efforts to get the biggest impact. 
Here are four key strategies that will help welding managers, particularly those new to the job, keep their shops competitive by increasing their production while keeping costs low and quality on par.

Robotic Welding Productivity: Touch and Go

The human-machine interface allows operators to control, monitor and collect data from the system with a simple touchscreen on a hand-held device that provides a realistic view of the robotic welding systems, from operating trends to productivity tracking, along with crucial alerts for troubleshooting should operational issues occur during the welding process.
The interaction between the operator and a robotic welding system can be improved by centralizing operations into one user interface.

Remote Welding Controls Offer Benefits in Fabrication Applications, Too

Remote control welding technologies provide the ability to make process changes and parameter selections at the weld joint, which helps save time, increase productivity and improve safety in fabrication and manufacturing applications. 
Beyond the field or jobsite, the benefits of remote control technologies in fabrication settings can be sizeable: more time spent welding and less time moving around; better welds resulting in less rework; and fewer cables to string and manage in the work area. 


Automation/Robotics: Industry News

Wolf Robotics to Outline New Welding Automation for NSRP

One goal is to automatically generate weld paths directly from CAD models to reduce the manual programming time currently required for robotic welding in shipyards.

Bug-O Systems Donates Equipment to Workshops for Warriors

A complete Go-Fer III system for cutting and welding was donated to WFW students so they can learn about basic mechanization.

Hawk Technology Acquires ALM Materials Handling

(l-r) Josh Clare, the chief executive officer of Hawk Technology, welcomes Doug Grunnet, the president, of ALM Materials Handling, LLC.
Wholly-owned subsidiary ALM Positioners will now manufacture a branded line of welding and assembly positioners for blue chip manufacturers and distributors.


Automation/Robotics: Products

Welding Automation

As a digital system, the HELIX M85 weld head from Lincoln Electric calculates and controls travel time, weld speed and other variables to reduce complicated setup work on the front end. The track ring can be installed or removed in seconds, and it also eliminates binding and compensates for work surface heat expansion.
Here are some of the new automation solutions that are helping shops make their welding operations more productive and profitable.

Advanced Welding Automation and CNC Cutting

The Swift Arc SL performs robotic welding of large parts at high production rates with a new tandem SAT process that uses twin welding wires running simultaneously through the cell’s robotic torch to deliver exceptionally high deposition rates. This high-productivity MIG welding process produces flat welds with good penetration and without undercut. Its low heat input results in less part deformation.
ESAB offers the Swift Arc SL side-load robotic cell with new tandem Swift Arc Transfer MIG welding and the Hydrocut LX combination waterjet and plasma cutting system.

Reality-Based Welding Training System Builds Welding Careers

The new LiveArc™ reality-based training system is designed to recruit, screen, train and manage welding trainee performance — all via a live welding arc. (first view)
Ideal for vocational schools or fab shops, the LiveArc™ Welding Performance Management System from Miller Electric recruits, screens, trains and manages welding trainee performance via a live welding arc by using advanced motion-tracking technology for critical feedback to improve welding skills and provide better, faster, more cost-effective results than traditional training methods.