Ultrasonic Welding Robot

Ultrasonic Welding Robots

Ultrasonic Welding Robots

The automation of ultrasonic welding with industrial robots has grown considerably over the past several years. It is considered one of the non-conventional robotic welding methods. The incredibly fast cycle times of robotic ultrasonic welding has helped fuel its growth. As manufacturers begin to diversify their materials and transition to more fully automated productions, they are opting for unconventional applications such as ultrasonic welding.

Ultrasonic welding, also known as sonic welding, can be used to weld both metal and plastic workpieces. Its ability to weld plastic gives it a significant advantage over other robotic welding methods, especially for manufacturers with high product turnover. During welding, an electrical voltage generates ultrasonic vibrations that melt workpieces at precise points for a completely uniform weld. Six axis robots being used for automating ultrasonic welding are integrated with an ultrasonic head, also referred to as an ultrasonic actuator, for the EOAT. These can weigh 70 pounds of more, so a higher payload robot will be required for automation. Due to the weight of the ultrasonic heads and the need for flexibility, a six-axis robot is typically recommended for automating ultrasonic welding. The Yaskawa Motoman MH50 and FANUC M-710ic/50 are both capable of automating ultrasonic welding applications.

Robotic ultrasonic welding is appealing due to its fast cycle times. Cycle times of up to 80 cycles per minute can be realized with robotic ultrasonic welding. Weld times typically fall between 200 to 500 milliseconds. Additional time is saved by avoiding the warmup and cooling periods of the weld tools as ultrasonic heads do not require those. Parts also do not need any cooling time post weld, allowing workpieces to move immediately to the next step in a production process.

The application of robotic ultrasonic welding is still limited despite the methodology being around for several decades. The main users of robotic ultrasonic welding are those in the electronics and automotive industries. In the electronics industry, ultrasonic welding robots are used to weld battery packs. Battery packs must be welded live, which can be dangerous due to the large amounts of stored energy. The welding of battery packs is also laborious with hundreds of welds per pack. Automating ultrasonic welding with the ABB 4600-60 improves the safety of this process while producing high-quality welds.

The automotive industry is one of the largest users of industrial robots, especially for welding automation. Automotive manufacturers have been using welding robots for spot welding car frames and for arc welding components such as fenders for decades. Now they are deploying ultrasonic welding robots for other vehicle components including door panels, bumper attachments, interior trim, filters, and sensors.

Automating ultrasonic welding with industrial robots improves safety, productivity, and quality. Articulated robots are better equipped to handle welding hazards than workers and allow for more reliable and consistent operations. The fast speeds of robots can increase productivity. While their controlled movements allow for greater precision and accuracy ensuring high-quality welds. Although spot welding and arc welding remain the most dominant methods for robotic welding, less conventional methods like ultrasonic welding should not be overlooked.

Contact us by email mm@robotsdoneright.com or phone (440) 724-6568 today to discuss buying or selling a ultrasonic welding robot.

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