Benefits of Automating Metal Fabrication with Industrial Robots

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
Metal fabrication involves converting raw metals into sheet metal, parts, and other components that will later be used in the production of other goods. Metal fab shops have been adding industrial robots to their production lines in recent years. Robotic automation is helping metal fabricators combat rising costs, labor shortages, and high demand. The repetitive and dangerous nature of metal fabrication makes it especially ideal for automating with the FANUC Arcmate 100ic/6L and other articulated robots. Automating metal fabrication with industrial robot arms provides several benefits, which include:

  • • Safer Operations - There are multiple dangers that workers face in metal fab shops. High temperatures, hot metals, molten metals, fumes, chemicals, and sharp tools can all pose serious safety risks to workers. In addition, fatigue and musculoskeletal injuries are common due to repetitive heavy lifting and operating heavy tooling. Replacing workers with the Yaskawa MH50 will significantly reduce worker injuries and accidents. Factory robots are capable of operating in extreme conditions and performing repetitive tasks without failure. Implementing robotic automation in fab shops will result in a safer work environment.

  • • Higher Productivity - Robot manipulators are capable of operating around the clock with no disruptions. With industrial robots there are no stoppages for shift changes, breaks, or distractions. Six axis robots are a reliable and consistent source of labor. Longer operating times with less stoppages means more parts can be processed. Robots also operate at much faster speeds than humans, reducing cycle times. Productivity will increase with robotic automation, helping metal fabricators meet high demand.

  • • Better Product Quality - Robotic automation will improve the quality of metal goods produced in fab shops. Robotic manipulators are programmed to follow the parameters of an application, because of this they can replicate the exact process with each workpiece. Errors are mitigated resulting in parts that are high quality and consistent. With the ABB IRB 2600 metal fabricators can be assured all parts welded will meet the same high quality. The same cannot be said for manual labor as fatigue, lose of concentration, and varying skill level greatly impact the quality and consistency of workpieces.

  • • Reliable Labor - Many industries recently have been struggling with labor shortages, including those in metal fabrication. Welders along with other skilled manual labor positions are on the decline. Automating with the FANUC M-710ic/70 and other manufacturing robot arms helps metal fabricators bridge these skills gaps. Robots provide consistent, high quality labor that rivals any seasoned worker. With handling robots there are no sick days, paid time off, or turnover issues. Operations will run smoothly and continuously with robots.

  • • Lower Costs - Automating fab shops with robots will lower and stabilize labor costs which provide huge savings as worker salaries continue to climb. Fewer errors means less waste which helps to save on material costs. Since robots are so consistent with their operation, metal fabricators will be able to accurately predict the materials needed allowing for better budget planning. Utilities can also be saved with the energy efficiency of robots. Faster cycle times also mean less money is spent on the production of each part. Lower costs allow metal fabricators to remain competitive while growing their profit margins.

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