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Benefits of Arc Welding Robots

Arc welding involves the process of fusing metals together through the use of an electric arc with either a consumable or non-consumable electrode. Types of arc welding include both MIG and TIG welding. The advances in robotic technology have driven the automation of arc welding applications with robots like the FANUC Arcmate 100ic and the Yaskawa Motoman MA3100. A typical robotic arc welding system consists of a welding robot and a power supply, such as the Lincoln Powerwave i400, to produce heat for the melting and fusing of metals. Arc welding has become one of the most popular robotic applications with nearly a quarter of all active robots across the world deployed for arc welding. Automated arc welding offers many benefits over manual arc welding, with the top benefits including:

Increased Worker Safety

Manual arc welding can be a dangerous job and hazardous towards a welder’s health. Welders are at risk of being exposed to high heat, hot metal, sparks, weld spatter, toxic fumes, and the weld arc. Arc welding robots, like the FANUC Arc Mate 120ic, are designed to handle these hazards. Production will never be halted due to an injury. Another advantage of automating arc welding is that employers do not have to supply expensive safety equipment. Robots are built against exposure to elements such as extreme temperatures and weld spatter. Replacing workers with robots allows them to be moved to safer and more comfortable environments.

Reduced Costs

Automating arc welding applications will reduce the costs associated with both materials and labor. Robots are programmed for a high level of accuracy that is repeatable. This ensures materials are not wasted, such as filler metals that can be expensive. Their accuracy also prevents errors, so metals are never scrapped because of a poor or inaccurate weld. Replacing welders with robots reduces labor costs as industrial robots do not require a salary, which can be high due to the skill set needed. As mentioned above, the elimination of worker safety equipment and injury will further drive down labor costs.

Closes the Skills Gap

It can be difficult for manufacturers to find the skilled labor needed for manual arc welding. Arc welding requires great skill and experience that is often hard to come by. Robots can close this gap as they are readily available. They can be quickly installed and easily programmed to have your arc welding application up and running without the headache of searching for welders.

Increased Quality

Arc welding robots, like the ABB IRB 1600, are a proven solution for quality. They are able to control the level of heat applied to metals, produce steady passes of the welding torch, and provide pinpoint accuracy. All these factors allow robots to produce high quality welds that are durable, long-lasting, and seamless. Their level of quality cannot be matched by manual welders as their repeatability produces welds that are consist with every workpiece.

Reduced Cycle Times

Arc welding robots such as the Motoman EA1400N can significantly speed up productions. They are capable of welding at faster rates than humans, producing a higher level of throughput. They do not make mistakes, which slows productions to correct. They also operate for longer periods of time because they do not stop for breaks, downtime, or vacation. Faster cycle times allow for increased productivity and for products to reach consumers at quicker rates.

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