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Robotic Welding Market Primed- 7/16/2012
Technological advances have made it easier for smaller job shops and fabricators to use robotic welding. The burgeoning market of robotic automation is highlighted in the Summer 2012 issue of Welding & Gases Today, which asks “Where’s The Money?” In the latest issue of the leading magazine for the gases and welding equipment industry, Welding & Gases Today Editor Carole Jesiolowski speaks with Michael Sharpe, staff engineer in the materials joining group at Fanuc Robotics, to learn more about this market.
While many markets saw a decline during the recent recession, Sharpe says robotic welding actually saw a boost. “The economic downturn provided an uptick, kind of a leap pad, in robotic arc welding,” he says. “Arc had very good sales in the last two years and continues to climb. Statistics from the International Federation of Robotics show that almost 170,000 industrial robots were sold in 2011, the most successful year ever. Sales in the United States were up 53 percent.”
In determining if an application is ripe for automation, a distributor must look at several factors, including job difficulty and desired quality and productivity levels. “We all have a relationship with products that are manufactured with metal and thus require welding,” says Sharpe. “Do they want to improve productivity? If so, automation can do it for them, regardless of length of run, size of the company, or even size of the distributor selling the robot.”
Welding & Gases Today’s interview with Sharpe is part of the cover story, “Where’s The Money?”, a feature that looks at what distributors and suppliers in the gases and welding industry are doing internally and externally to find new markets and opportunities.
To learn more about robotic welding and automation markets, read “Robotics 101” (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/index.php/2012/06/robotics-101/) at Welding & Gases Today Online.