Maximise productivity and control of Arc-processes
Welding automation uses robots to increase the performance of the production of welds. This automated welding process increases the speed, precision, quality and also minimises the chance of errors or inconsistent welds compared to manual welding.
Welding robots are very precise, move smoothly and at considerable speed through a programmed path. Being computer-based, they can be programmed and have sensors to follow the seam and to apply corrections to the welding parameters.
In arc welding and manufacturing in general, automation refers to some or all of the steps in an operation being performed in sequence by some mechanical or electronic means. Certain functions may be performed manually (partial automation); or all of the functions may be performed without adjustment by the operator (total automation). Automation can be applied to many different processes.
Equipment may accommodate a single assembly/family of assemblies (fixed automation), or may be flexible enough to be quickly modified to perform similar operations on different components and assemblies (flexible automation).
Consultancy and development work at TWI covers:
- Robotic MIG/MAG welding
- Robotic TIG welding
- Joint finding and seam tracking Adaptive control
- Flexible manufacturing systems
- Process and robotic simulation
- Off-line programming
- Remote welding
TWI's arc welding engineers and technicians have a wealth of know-how and experience gained through many years of industrial problem solving and R&D.
TWI can assist with introducing robotics in manufacturing and provide on-going support by carrying out:
- Feasibility studies
- Prototype development
- Production support
Successful application of mechanised /automated systems can offer a number of advantages. These include increased productivity, consistent weld quality, predictable welding production rates, reduced variable welding costs and lower part costs. Limitations include higher capital investment than for manual welding equipment, a need for more accurate part location and orientation, and more sophisticated arc movement and control devices. As such, production requirements must be large enough to justify the costs of equipment and installation, the maintenance of equipment and the training of operators and programmers for robot equipment.
TWI has recently completed the EU funded NOMAD project. The NOMAD project developed an autonomous, flexible, robotic welding system capable of fabricating small batches of customised products as easily and quickly as large multiples.