Benefits of an Automated Welding System
The term automated welding system generally refers to an automatic welding process through the use of industrial robots. Welding robots are one of the main components of an automated welding system. Welding applications can be complex, requiring great skill and concentration. The complexity and lack of skilled welders is causing many manufacturers to make the switch to automated welding with robots like the FANUC Arcmate 100ic or the Yaskawa Motoman MA1440. Implementing an automated welding system provides many benefits with the main ones being:
- • Higher Weld Quality - Automating a welding process removes the biggest obstacle for weld quality which is human error. Manual welding lacks repeatability as inconsistencies in torch position, arc length, and heat applied amongst other factors can greatly impair weld quality and cause parts to deviate from one another. Welding robots feature high repeatability which means they can replicate all steps of a welding application which each workpiece. Torch positions, heat, and arc length are identical with each cycle allowing parts to be uniform to one another. The accuracy of arc welding robots ensures each weld is high-quality. Producing high-quality welds ensures the durability of the weld which is especially important in the automotive industry where weld quality can affect vehicle safety. This is why many automotive manufacturers have automated their welding processes. The FANUC Arcmate 120ic is ideal for welding automation.
- • Increased Productivity - Automated welding systems allow users to expand their output which increases productivity. A single welding robot can handle a higher workload than a welder due to its high speed, consistency, and long operation time. Articulated robots can run twenty-four hours which allows for greater throughput than those relying on manual welding for eight or twelve hour shifts. The ABB 1600 can run both day and night with no breaks or distractions in between parts for higher and more consistent productivity rates.
- • Reduced Costs - While manual welding may initially seem like the more affordable option, in the long run it can end up costing more with material waste, high welder salaries, and inconsistent outputs. An automated welding system may seem like a big investment initially, but an ROI can be realized quickly with higher productivity, improved part quality, and a reduction in production costs. With six axis welding robots there are shorter cycle times, longer operation hours, and no salaries, lowering the cost of each weld. Buying a used automated welding system is a more affordable alternative than buying brand new and will allow for an even quicker ROI. The Motoman EA1400N is an excellent Yaskawa welding robot that can be found on the second-hand market.
- • Less Waste - Implementing an automated welding system will result in less material waste and scrap overall. The accuracy of welding robots prevents errors that lead to scrapped material and rework. Not only is material waste reduced, but material usage becomes more predictable with the consistency of an automated welding system allowing for better planning.
- • Safer Work Environment - Implementing an automated welding system provides a safer work environment for employees. Workers are removed from the hazards of welding such as extreme heat and arc flash. Manufacturers experience additional savings by being able to forgo investing in personal protective equipment required for welders.