Improving Your Welding Robot’s Operation
Welding automation can be a big investment, but it will significantly improve the welding process. The benefits of robotic welding outweigh the costs which is why we are seeing more and more FANUC Arcmate 120ic in metal fabrication shops and ABB 6640 welding automobile parts. In order to fully capitalize on the benefits of welding automation you need to ensure your robotic welding system is completely optimized. Below are several tips on how to improve your welding robot’s operation to ensure it is performing to its full potential.
- • Perform Routine Robotic Maintenance - Preventative maintenance is key for ensuring your arc welding robots is operating at its best. Adhering to a strict maintenance schedule will keep your articulated robot in top condition resulting in the most accurate and high-quality welds. Staying on top of preventative maintenance will prevent unexpected welding system downtimes by catching issues before they turn into major repairs. Routine preventative maintenance will help to reduce costs in the long run by keeping your six axis robot in good condition. It will also extend the lifespan of your welding robot, keeping it running for several years.
- • Invest in a Torch Reamer - Keeping the weld torch clean is important for producing strong, high-quality welds. Spatter can build up inside the torch, leading to poor weld quality and potentially to a defective torch that may need to be repaired or replaced. Ideally, a torch should be cleaned routinely during welding. Manual cleaning can be time consuming and tedious. Investing in a robotic reamer ensures the welding torch is cleaned automatically at specified intervals. Integrating a reamer with the Motoman MA1400, allows for the torch to be cleaned in between cycles, preventing welding delays and ensuring high-quality parts.
- • Monitor Your Weld System - Monitoring the operation of your weld system will give you useful feedback about the system’s overall performance. Inefficiencies and weld defects can be identified, and adjustments made for optimal welding system performance. It’s not just the robot that should be monitored, but the entire system including the wire feeder, power supply, positioner, etc. There are several monitoring devices that can be added to your welding equipment for easier data collection.
- • Training - Robotic welding systems will need an operator to program and oversee the system. It is important the operator receives proper training to understand how to program and operate the welding robot and to ensure they are familiar with all safety devices. Training, like robotic maintenance, should be completed routinely to ensure operators are up to date on the latest equipment and safety standards.
- • Choose Quality Consumables - Since consumables need to be routinely replaced, it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest ones, but the consumables you use can affect your welding outcomes. The quality of wires, contact tips, and other peripherals will affect the welding robot’s performance. Performing routine maintenance can help extend the use of consumables, reducing how often they are replaced.
- • Match Communication Systems - When integrating a robotic welding system all communication systems will need to match across all devices to ensure they are able to accurately relay information to one another. For instance, when integrating a FANUC Arcmate 100ic with a Lincoln Powerwave i400 power supply, their programming language should be the same so they can effectively communicate with one another about the welding application.