Advantages of Automating Spot Welding with Robots
About 50% of robots are used to automate welding applications. Of those welding robots, nearly half are deployed for spot welding. Spot welding robots are typically larger than arc welding robots. They are capable of handling heavy payloads and have longer reaches. Automating spot welding applications with industrial robots has many advantages, which is why it is one of the most common robotic applications.
Increased Welding Speed
Welding robots can complete welds at much faster rates than their human counterparts. Articulated robots operate at much faster speeds than humans. Their operation is also more reliable than workers since they do not take breaks or run the risk of distractions interfering with their work. Many spot welding robots can weld at a speed of just a few seconds per spot. Some six axis robots can weld points at a rate of 10-100 milliseconds. By automating spot welding with the FANUC R-2000ib/210F manufacturers will see a significant improvement with cycle times.
Improved Weld Accuracy
Since spot welding involves joining metals together at specific points, accuracy is crucial to the success of the weld. Spot welding robots are incredibly accurate. Many have a point accuracy of 1 mm or less. This means welds will be completed correctly at the intended point. With manual spot welding, high accuracy can be difficult to achieve since workers can lose concentration, lose control of the weld torch, or not have the skill to produce accurate welds. This is why many metal fabricators are opting to automate spot welding with the ABB 6640 or the FANUC R2000ib.
Operate Heavy Tooling
One of the reasons spot welding robots have high payloads is because the tooling needed for spot welding is often heavy. Heavy spot welding guns can be difficult for humans to operate over a several hour period leading to inconsistencies and inaccurate welds. Workers may also run the risk of becoming injured from moving the heavy equipment leading to production delays. Spot welding robots are designed to lift and operate heavy tooling. Welds are completed with precision and the risk of worker injury from heavy spot welding equipment is eliminated.
Consistent Product Quality
One of the main reasons any manufacturer opts for robotic automation for any application is to improve product quality. This is especially true for spot welding applications. Spot welding robots not only improve product quality but can replicate that quality over and over resulting in high product quality that is consistent. Robots have high repeatability allowing them to produce the same results consistently. Spot welding robots are able to control variables such as the amount of heat applied to metals, ensuring high-quality welds with every workpiece.
Better Workpiece Access
The long reach of spot welding robots allows them to easily access workpieces in narrow or difficult to reach spaces. The Motoman ES165N has a reach of over 2,500 mm making it ideal for spot welding large or hard to reach workpieces. The longer reach of spot welding robots allows for better access to workpieces, preventing welding limitations.
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