A universal welding machine, also known as a universal welder, refers to the robotic welding system that is capable of conducting various welding techniques automatically on one machine.
Compared to the manual operated welding machine, the universal welding machine can work with better accuracy and efficiency without the limitations that the manual welding machine might have. Therefore, this machine is suitable for being the alternative when the precision and time is what may be considered.
A welding machine is used to fuse two parts on an object or two objects that are made of metals together by providing heat and melting the metals with the electrodes, and it can be operated either manually or automatically.
The traditional welding processes, which can be done with several different welding techniques, such as MIG welding, TIG welding, flux-cored welding, or stick welding, should be performed with the operators’ hands. This not only requires the experiences that the operators have, but is also time-consuming if the materials are hard to be welded or the total volume is large.
In order to deal with this problem, the universal welding machine is invented. With this automatic operated machine, it is able to perform multiple tasks with shortened time. In addition, by the appropriate setting up the machine, the precise welding parts can be ensured depending on the requirements of the customers.
A universal welding machine is formed with four main elements, which have their own special configurations and features that make each one of them indispensable for performing the multiple welding techniques, including the operator interface, automated systems, robot, and safety equipment.
● Operator interface
Although the universal welding machine conducts all the welding techniques automatically, it cannot totally replace the operators in fact. Instead, this machine still requires the operator to do the setups, initiate the welding machine, and stop the operation.
Therefore, on a universal welding machine, there would be an operator interface, which is equipped with a touch screen and allows the operators to control and supervise the welding processes.
● automated systems
To operate the robot on this machine with the automatic operation, the automated systems contain the electrical components, including the motors, transformers, and connection boxes, which are connected to the robot with several cables and able to provide the motions that the robot should have, in order to facilitate the smooth operation of the robot.
The robot is connected to the operator interface and the automated systems with cables, and the robotic arms offer the tool holding and welding functions, which hold the torch and wire feeder, and perform the welding processes at the same time. The robot can be regarded as the alternative to the operators’ hands, since it performs the jobs that are usually done by the operators in the traditional welding processes.
● Safety equipment
The universal welding machine also consists of safety equipment including several switches that allow the operators to stop or reset the operation when it is necessary, in order to prevent the malfunctioning of the robot during operation.
● Improves safety
Since the robotic arms replace the hands of the operators, which means that the operators are not required to stand directly beside the working site, the safety concerns for the operators during operation can be eliminated. In other words, the safety of the working environments can be improved accordingly.
● Consistent welding processes
When the welding processes are conducted manually, the different welding parts with the same welding techniques may not be consistent. In contrast, with the standard setup of the motion control for the robotic arms, it enables the consistent performance of the welding processes.
● Enhances welding outputs
Compared to the manual operated welding machine, the universal welding machine would not be limited to the available working hours and the flexibility in the welding processes. Therefore, the welding outputs can be enhanced, and the efficiency of the works can be increased as well.
● Increases product quality
With the consistent welding processes and the flexibility that the robotic arms can achieve in handling intricate welding parts, the quality of the products can be increased, which allows this machine to be adopted for the customized production that should be done by welding.
● Reduces costs
When the robotic arms are perfectly replaced for the operators’ hands, the costs that should be spent on the excessive labors, and the time that is taken for performing one welding technique at a time can be saved. This makes the adoption of the universal welding machine a better choice than the manual welding machines, since it can benefit the manufacturers that are in charge of high-volume production.
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