Robotic welding is the use of robots to perform welding tasks automatically. This technology has revolutionized the welding industry. Robots are more accurate, faster, and can work continuously. Let’s explore the use of robots in welding or robotic welding and how they have improved the welding industry.
The first robot was developed in 1954 by George Devol and Joseph Engelberger. It was called the Unimate and transported die-casting parts from one machine to another. In the 1960s, the automotive industry started using robots for spot welding. Today, robot welding is used in many industries.
Robot welding offers several advantages over traditional welding methods, including:
There are several types of robot welding, including:
Arc welding is a procedure that uses an electric arc to melt and join metals. Robots can be programmed to perform arc welding using various methods, including MIG, TIG, and plasma welding.
Spot welding is the most common type of robot welding. It involves using a robot to combine two metal sheets by creating a series of small welds in a welding course.
Laser welding uses a high-powered laser to melt and join metal parts. Robots can be programmed to perform laser welding tasks with high precision.
This welding is a solid-state joining process involving a non-consumable tool to join two metal parts. Robots can be programmed to perform friction stir welding work with high accuracy.
To perform robot welding tasks, several pieces of equipment are required, including:
The robot arm is the most critical piece of equipment in robot welding. It is responsible for carrying out the welding tasks, and a computer program controls it.
The welding gun is the tool used to perform welding program tasks. Depending on the welding method, there are different welding guns.
The welding power supply provides the electrical energy required to create an electric arc or laser beam to perform the welding tasks.
The wire feeder feeds the welding wire into the welding gun. The wire is melted and used to join the metal parts.
Programming a robot for welding involves several steps, including:
The first step is to design the welding process, which includes selecting the appropriate welding technique, the type of filler material, and the welding parameters like current, voltage, and speed.
Once the welding process is designed, the next step is to create the robot’s path or trajectory. This is done using specialized software that allows the programmer to create a virtual model of the workpiece and define the robot’s movements.
The next step is to program the robot. This involves writing the code to control the robot’s movements and actions during welding. The code is typically written in a specialized programming language like RAPID or KAREL.
After the robot has been programmed, testing and debugging the code is essential to ensure it works correctly. This involves running the robot through a series of tests to verify that it performs the welding process as intended.
Once programmed and tested, the robot must be integrated with other systems like the welding power source, the wire feeder, and the torch. This is typically done through a control system that allows the robot to communicate with these other systems.
Finally, the robot’s performance can be optimized by fine-tuning the welding parameters and robot movements. This can help improve the welding job‘s quality and increase productivity.