Automated Welding

What is automated welding?

Automated welding is the welding process that fuses two objects or two parts of one object that is made of metal materials together, with the assistance of the robotic arms rather than the hands of the operators, in order to allow for more flexibility of the welding techniques that one welding machine can achieve.

The automated welding process can benefit the manufacturers from the increased load capacities, product quality, productivity, and efficiency, since the parameters include the position and strength of the torch and the smoothness of the welding parts, etc. are computerized, and the results of the products that are presented when they are made are foreseeable, the possibility of the mistakes that might be made can be minimized accordingly.

Welding is a method for the fabrication of metals by joining two parts as one unit, and this is attained with the interrelation between the melting and solidifying of the metal materials. Compared to other kinds of techniques that present the similar results but applying different principles, welding ensures the highest rigidity and stability of the products that have undergone this process.

In order to fulfill the welding on different parts of the workpieces or accommodate the materials that are available to be welded, there are a variety of welding techniques to be applied, such as TIG welding, MIG welding, or spot welding. When there are the requirements to use different techniques during the welding process, in the past, one operator can only conduct one technique at a time. In other words, it takes quite a lot of time in completing the entire process in the manual welding.

On the one hand, there might be some limitations, such as the available operation time or the accuracy of the welding parts, etc., which may occur when the welding process is conducted by the hands of the operators. On the other hand, for the manufacturers that are dedicated to large-scale manufacturing, it is hard to ensure the product consistency, and thus influences the profits that the manufacturers are able to make.

Therefore, in some cases, the automated welding would be substituted for the manual welding, and we will discuss the possible cases when the automated welding is required in the following paragraph.

When is automated welding required?

Comparing the manual welding and the automated welding, although the operators that are well trained have the abilities to perform well in different welding techniques, the automated operation is adopted over the manual counterpart in some cases when:

● Product quality is the priority
Since the controlling of the robotic arms that are applied to perform the welding process is computerized, the process is conducted following the fixed parameters, which prevents the deformation of the products, and thus ensures the optimal quality that the automated welding can achieve.

● Large-scale welding on identical parts is required
As the robotic arms are capable of conducting repetitive motions without the limitation that the manual operators may have, the automated welding is suitable for repeated welding on identical parts, which benefits for large-scale manufacturing.

● The skills of the operators are limited
As the above introduction has mentioned, the automatic robotic arms can perform several welding techniques on one machine, therefore, when the operator lacks some skills that are required to perform the welding process, the automated welding can be the suitable alternative as well.

Who is in charge of the automated welding?

As far as we know, the welding process can be conducted by either the hands of the operators or the robotic arms on the automatic welding machine. Depending on the need of the manufacturers, the fully manual or automated welding are no longer the only two choices. 

In fact, when it comes to the automated welding, it can be divided into semiautomatic and fully automatic operation, which differ in whether the operators are participating in the process or not.

The semiautomatic welding refers to the involvement of the operators during the process. When the semiautomatic welding is conducted, the operators are responsible for feeding the workpieces onto the machine, and collecting the products after they have been welded by the robotic arms.

However, the fully automatic welding eliminates the need of operators during the process. In fully automatic welding, all of the procedures can be done by the robotic arms with the control of the computer, which reduces a significant amount of cost that is spent on the employment of the laborers.

While in most cases, no matter the semi automatic or fully automatic welding, the operators are required for the supervising of the process or the maintaining of the machine. Thus, when deciding whether to choose the semiautomatic or fully automatic machine, several factors should be taken into serious consideration, in order to prevent the excessive costs that may influence the overall profit to be spent.

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