Robotic Welding Process: Welding Applications, Systems and Techniques by@arthur.tkachenko

Robotic Welding Process: Welding Applications, Systems and Techniques

The use of robotic technology allows to obtain precise and rapid results, avoid waste, and operate with greater safety. Robots are able to reach otherwise inaccessible points and can perform complex and precise welding and welding steps faster than manual welding.
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In the robotic field, the welding process is automated thanks to the use of robots that perform and manage the welding according to a program that can be redefined to adapt to the intended project.


Robotic welding is a highly advanced version of automatic welding, in which the machines perform the welding, but the welders continue to control and supervise the process.


The use of robotic technology allows to obtain precise and rapid results, avoid waste, and operate with greater safety. Robots are able to reach otherwise inaccessible points and can perform complex and precise welding and welding steps faster than manual welding.


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This saves production time and increases flexibility. With the range of machines available, robots can adapt to a wide variety of welding processes:

  • spot welding

  • arc

  • resistance

  • TIG

  • laser

  • plasma

  • MIG welding


The main goal is to create the right programs and masks for the welding application.

ROBOTIC WELDING APPLICATIONS


Thanks to the time-saving advantages and high productivity, robotic welding has become important in the metallurgical and heavy industry, especially in the automotive and railway sectors which use laser spot welding and welding.



This is a method best suited to short welds with curved surfaces and repeatable and predictable actions that do not require continuous shifts and changes in the welding process. With the help of external axes, the robot is also suitable for long welds, for example in the shipbuilding industry.


Although robotic welding is mainly used in mass production, where efficiency and quantity are essential aspects, programs can be made to meet any need, and robotic can be used for smaller and even one-off productions while maintaining at the same time high profitability.



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ROBOTIC WELDING EQUIPMENT

Robotic welding combines welding, robotic, sensor technology, control systems, and artificial intelligence. Components include specially programmed software, welding equipment that supplies power from the generator to the workpiece, and the robot that uses the equipment to perform the welding.


The robot's processing sensors measure the parameters of the welding process, while the geometry sensors measure the geometric parameters of the welds.


By acquiring and analyzing the input information from the sensors, the control system adapts the output of the robotic welding process according to the procedure specifications defined in the program. Depending on the intended use, the robots can be robotic arms or gantry robots. Six-axis industrial robots comprising a three-axis lower arm and three-axis wrist are typically used as they allow the wrist-mounted welding gun to reach all positions needed for three-dimensional welding.


The system must be integrated with the robot and the welding equipment must be compatible and preferably designed specifically for robotic welding because in this case all processes can be controlled by the robot.


See Kemppi robotic welding systems below



ROBOTIC WELDING TECHNIQUES

In robotic welding, the main focus is on software and correct programming. The main expenses are for equipment, testing, and operator training, which is why robotizing the welding process always requires precise planning. It is, therefore, necessary to analyze the current welding production, including all costs and corresponding operations, as well as to examine the compatibility of the equipment with the robotic needs.


To ensure proper welding, specifications must be exact. In automated welding, the welds are homogeneous, so they can be measured to be as small as possible. Homogeneous parts allow the robot to repeatedly weld in the same position. All processes can be controlled thanks to the pre-planned programs, which will operate the robot.

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__To perform a certain task, robots rely on data entered by the operator. However, this activity should not be limited to welding the same part every time because the robot can be reprogrammed. Furthermore, it is possible to have the robot repeat the same actions 24 hours a day.



Other articles in this series:

Manufacturing Robotization: Drivers and Barriers


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