MAG stands for Metal Active Gas welding. It is a type of GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) process and is similar to MIG welding, the other type of GMAW. Like MIG welding, MAG involves the use of a feeding wire and electric current. The wire is constantly fed through the welding torch while the electric current creates an arc between the workpiece and wire. The arc produces the heat needed to melt both the wire and the metal workpiece in order to form a weld. Like MIG welding, MAG welding also uses a shielding gas to protect the weld pool. However, it is the type of shielding gas used that differentiates MAG welding from MIG welding as active shielding gases are used for MAG. These typically include argon, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.
Another similarity between MAG welding and MIG welding is that they can be automated with industrial robots. Robotic MAG welding is just as popular as robotic MIG welding as it produces high-quality welds at fast speeds. To automate a MAG application a weld cell, welding robot, power supply, wire feeder, robotic positioner, and welding torch will be needed for a complete welding package. Arc welding robots are commonly used for MAG automation. The FANUC Arcmate 120ic and Arcmate 100ic are two ideal options from FANUC. While the Motoman MA1400 is an arc welding robot from Yaskawa Motoman that can be used for MAG applications. Many of the power supplies from the top welding equipment brands feature MAG welding capabilities. The Miller Auto-Continuum 350 is commonly used for robotic arc welding processes and integrates nicely with the Yaskawa Motoman MA1440.
Robotic MAG welding is popular for sheet metal welding. MAG welding robots can be used to weld most kinds of ferrous metals, carbon steels, and stainless steels. Many manufacturers prefer to use robotic MAG welding for steel workpieces since the active shielding gas protects against oxidation of the metal. Automotive manufacturers have been some of the biggest users of MAG welding robots since this robotic welding method yields high productivity which is crucial for the large production volumes of automobile manufacturing.
Robotic MAG welding offers many advantages, which is why it has become one of the most popular automated welding methods. The use of an active shielding gas fully protects the welding area, preventing any oxidation of the metals. This results in higher quality and more durable welds. It is also one of the cleaner robotic welding methods. Six axis robots are able to produce MAG welds without any spatter. This ensures that not only the weld itself is high-quality, but also its appearance. The prevention of spatter eliminates extra finishing steps to clean up the workpiece, helping to keep cycle times to a minimum. Cycle times are further reduced due to the incredibly fast speeds of robotic MAG welding. It is one of the fastest robotic welding methods, even faster than MIG welding. Lastly, robotic MAG welding is extremely cost-effective. The shielding gases used are less expensive than those used for other welding processes. The accuracy of articulated robots eliminates costly errors, conserves materials, and reduces the need for rework which all help keep production costs low.