A welding process that contains repetitive tasks on similar pieces might be suitable for automation. The number of items of any type to be welded determines whether automating a process or not. If parts normally need adjustment to fit together correctly, or if joints to be welded are too wide or in different positions from piece to piece, automating the procedure will be difficult or impossible. Robots work well for repetitive tasks or similar pieces that involve welds in more than one axis or where access to the pieces is difficult.
Why robot welding?
The most prominent advantages of automated welding are precision and productivity. Robot welding improves weld repeatability. Once programmed correctly, robots will give precisely the same welds every time on workpieces of the same dimensions and specifications.
Automating the torch motions decreases the error potential which means decreased scrap and rework. With robot welding you can also get an increased output. Not only does a robot work faster, the fact that a fully equipped and optimized robot cell can run for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without breaks makes it more efficient than a manual weld cell.
Another benefit of automated welding is the reduced labor costs. Robotic welding also reduces risk by moving the human welder/operator away from hazardous fumes and molten metal close to the welding arc.
What welding processes are suitable for robot welding?
Most production welding processes can be used in automated applications. The most popular, used in perhaps 80 percent of applications, is the solid wire GMAW process. This process is best for most high production situations because no postweld cleanup is required.