Advantages of Robotic Plasma Cutting
Plasma cutting robots are becoming quite common in manufacturing. As the trend toward robotic automation grows the FANUC Arcmate 120ic and other plasma cutting robots are being implemented across numerous industries including the automotive, aerospace, metals, and heavy equipment. It is no surprise plasma cutting articulated robots are on the rise as they provide several key benefits creating a more efficient manufacturing process.
- • Speed - Industrial robots operate at much faster speeds than manual operators are capable of. The Yaskawa MA1400 can cut up to 500 inches per minute. Faster cutting speeds mean a significant boost in productivity for manufacturers. Not only are six axis robots fast but they are also consistent as they move from part to part without any delays. Significantly higher output can be achieved with robotic plasma cutting.
- • User-Friendly - Robotic plasma cutting is relatively easy to implement compared to other cutting methods. It requires minimal training which allows manufacturers to automate the process fairly quickly. Its ease of use also makes it ideal for those with little prior robotic experience.
- • Materials - Robotic manipulators can work with a variety of metals with varying thicknesses. Since nitrogen is used just about any metal type can be cut regardless of thickness. Plasma cutting robots are ideal for those with a high mix of parts.
- • Versatility - Industrial robot arms can also be used to automate other processes including plasma welding. The ABB IRB 2600-20 can be used to cut parts to prepare for welding and then automate the welding process itself. Multipurpose industrial robots streamline manufacturing.
- • Safety - Factory robots eliminate the hazards workers face from the application. Automating plasma cutting removes workers from the risk of injury, exposure to high heat, gases, and fumes. Robotic plasma cutting creates a safer work environment and reduces the likelihood of accidents from occurring.
- • Cost - Robotic plasma cutting is less expensive to implement than other robotic cutting methods. Manufacturing robot arms also help manufacturers save on production related expenses including those associated with labor, materials, and utilities.
- • Prevention of Part Distortion - Robot manipulators are capable of cutting through workpieces without damaging or distorting them by keeping material surfaces cool. Other cutting methods can cause part surfaces to heat up during the process leading to part distortion, warping, or bubbling of surface coatings.
- • Reduction in Material and Consumable Usage - The accuracy of robots and their ability to prevent part distortion reduces scrap and conserves material usage. The mitigation of errors means less waste and rework. Consumables are also saved as industrial robotic arms are programmed to follow specific steps. This prevents consumables from being wasted due to inaccurate cutting or applying the torch at the wrong angle.
- • Better Part Quality - The prevention of errors, part distortion, and the control of application parameters will significantly improve part quality. Quality will not only improve but become consistent with the high repeatability of robots.
- • Enhanced Manufacturing Capabilities - Automating plasma cutting with robots will allow for more complex designs and advanced workpieces. Plasma cutting robots are capable of cutting complex part geometries allowing companies to expand their manufacturing capabilities.