Electronic industrial robots are not people. They have highly trained individuals in control of the robotic applications who receive real-time data on the robot’s performance. The robots are part of a motorized electronic system created to perform routine, repetitive industrial tasks that can be dangerous. The automated arc welding robot replaces a trained welder and protects that person from exposure to harmful fumes, intense ultraviolet light and heat.
At least half of the robots used for industrial applications are designed for arc welding that fuses pieces of metal at temperatures of 3100 degrees Celsius or higher. Acetylene is combined with oxygen in an electronic torch to create the arc between the base metals and electrodes. Residual fumes from ionized gases often result from this process.
Lincoln Electric supplies integrated arc welding equipment worldwide with automation and power systems for difficult, repetitive and often dangerous welding tasks. The company developed two Power Wave compact multi-process power sources with built-in wire feeder controls. This technology used for robotic welding automatically maintains a constant output of power while adjusting to the power input. A surge blocker is also available to keep the power supply consistent while the robots are working.
Automated welding robots will not replace highly trained welders who are experts with all of the necessary equipment. Professional welders train company employees using robotic systems on the procedures for repetitive welding jobs. They may serve in a quality control capacity to evaluate the finished product and make changes when necessary.
Products for automated welding
Automation solutions for robotic arc welding include:
- Specialized power sources
- Feeders for the robots
- Positioners for different jobs
- Special preconfigured robotic cells
- Complete welding systems for a specific operation
Other accessories are also available for robotic systems. Mechanized automation systems can include orbital welding equipment with a water cooler, weld held and track ring along with power supplies and controls.
Robots at Work
Welding robots are machines used for resistance spot and arc welding repetitive projects. Speed and accuracy are major reasons for using these robotic arms that come in different sizes and shapes.
The several different types of industrial robots are based on the arm joint configuration or axes. Different sizes of welding robots are designed to reach various areas on a production line. The robots are generally programmed to do one task in one area at a set speed on a production or assembly line. The automated welder is preprogrammed to perform the job when the piece of equipment is at a given point within its reach.
Robotic welders have strict parameters to control the quality of the finished products. The professional welder works with machine operators to position the robotic mechanisms to do the job within those parameters.
The automotive industry in the U.S. and foreign countries began using robotic devices for spot and arc welding in the 1980’s. The metallic robotic arms can safely reach areas that a person might find difficult and dangerous to access. Many automotive welders were retrained to use and monitor the sophisticated equipment that controls the robotic welders.
Signature Image Processing
The SIP is actually the computerized electronic data collected from the welding applications. The data is analyzed for any abnormalities. Since welded products must conform to exact specifications or parameters, SIP provides a means of quality control for the robots and final products.
SIP measures the stability of the welding processes and identifies any problems within the robotic system. Controllers are trained to analyze this algorithm data supplied by the computer within the controls. This is part of the quality assurance program for major industries, especially the automotive industry in the U.S. and foreign countries.
Most machines and motors have welded parts. This includes automobiles and other vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, tools and major appliances. The robots and their control units may also have welded components.
The car you drive or any electronic device you use may have parts that were welded by automation. Remember that there were people behind the automated process to assure its reliability.