Robotic Torch Cleaning Station
Maintaining your automated welding system is critical for ensuring the maximum benefits of the system are realized. Robotic welding systems can be a big investment, so preventing the deterioration of the system is key to optimizing its operation and lifespan. Preventative maintenance of a welding system involves more than just maintaining the arc welding robot. The welding torch will also need routine maintenance.
One of the biggest obstacles of an automated arc welding process is the buildup of spatter inside the torch. Spatter buildup in a welding torch can cause poor weld quality, lower productivity, slower cycle times, increased consumable use, and mechanical failures of the torch. A FANUC Arcmate 120ic will not be able to produce quality welds if spatter has not been removed from the torch. Torches can be manually cleaned but manual cleaning is time consuming, takes more manpower, and not all spatter may be removed. Fortunately, the development of torch cleaning stations has automated the process of removing spatter.
A robotic torch cleaning station is a mechanical device that can be integrated with a robotic welding system in order to automatically remove spatter and debris from the robot’s torch. Torch cleaning stations will clean torches at predefined intervals, usually between every 5 to 15 parts. Torch cleaning stations can clean torches in a matter of seconds, helping to prevent the buildup of spatter. This allows users to easily clean torches in between cycles. Integrating the Yaskawa Motoman MA1440 with a torch cleaning station allows torch cleaning to take place simultaneously while parts are loaded or unloaded from the workcell, keeping productions running smoothly. Torch cleaning stations are also frequently referred to as robotic reamers.
Torch cleaning stations are available in two types: analog and digital. Analog torch cleaners consist of an air supply and multiconductor cord set. The start, spray, and stop functions of an analog torch cleaner are controlled by a conductor cord. Digital torch cleaners use an IP address and network cable to signal functions. Digital torch cleaners feature a boarder range of functions including clamp, lift, lower, and powering on/off as well as the same functions as analog cleaners.
Why Use a Torch Cleaning Station?Integrating a torch cleaning station with your welding robot can result in improved and more consistent weld quality. Keeping the weld torch free of spatter allows shielding gas to properly flow for complete weld pool coverage, preventing defects. Arcing against the workpiece is also avoided.
Using a torch cleaning station significantly speeds up the cleaning process. Torch cleaners can remove spatter in as little as 5 seconds while manual methods can take over 5 minutes. Torches are thoroughly cleaned as well, ensuring all debris is removed. Manual cleaning can be inconsistent and can easily leave behind some spatter. A thorough cleaning reduces the amount of torch consumables used. Reducing the frequency of which nozzles and contact tips are replaced helps to lower costs.
The addition of a torch cleaning station will keep your robotic welding system running at optimal levels for better weld quality, higher productivity, and increased efficiency.