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Robotic welding is suitable for any welding process that is suitable for automation, in that it requires repetitive tasks on similar pieces. Robotic welding also works well when there are welds in more than one axis or where access to the pieces is difficult. When programmed, robots perform the same welds every time on workpieces of the same dimensions and specifications. In about 80 percent of applications, robotic welding is used with the solid wire GMAW process.
Benefits of Robotic Welding Robotic welding systems improve quality, reduce production costs and increase productivity with consistency and repeatability.
QUALITY: Higher quality welds are maintained with the mechanical consistency of the robot. Consistency is provided by the precise movement of the robot arm and torch, as well as the wire feed speed and travel speed. Robotic welding creates a more consistent weld strength and better weld appearance.
PRODUCTION COSTS: Robotic Welding reduces productions costs by using fewer welding consumables and producing fewer scrapped parts.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: The ROI for an industrial welding robot is usually around 6 months. Increased productivity, decreased labor, and many of the other benefits of automated welding factor into faster ROI times.
PRODUCTIVITY: The repeatability and speed of the welding robotic system provides increased productivity. Robotic Welding can produce at a higher rate than human welding, and allow for a more productive workforce.
SAFETY: Employers find they have fewer employee accidents and lower Workers Comp claims when they change to robotic welding.
There are two popular types of industrial welding robots. The two are articulating robots and rectilinear robots. Robotics control the movement of a rotating wrist in space. A description of some of these welding robots are described below:
Rectilinear robots move in line in any of three axes (X, Y, Z). In addition to linear movement of the robot along axes there is a wrist attached to the robot to allow rotational movement. This creates a robotic working zone that is box shaped.
Articulating robots employ arms and rotating joints. These robots move like a human arm with a rotating wrist at the end. This creates an irregularly shaped robotic working zone. Most articulated welding robots feature six axes and function as part of a robotic system or workcell.