Robot Welding

Robot welding is a common name for automated welding where the welding torch is moved by an articulated arm robot during welding. The workpiece is attached to a stationary or moving welding fixture. The moving welding fixture may be attached, for example, to a workpiece positioner having one or more numerically controlled axes. The positioner may also be another articulated arm robot. Typically, the axes of the workpiece positioner are controlled by the controls of the welding robot, and the movements of the welding robot and the workpiece positioner operate in a synchronized manner with each other. To increase the working area of ​​the welding robot, the robot can be mounted on a linear or 1-3 -axis portal in the desired position (e.g., hanging upside down).

The most common welding method used in robot welding is MIG/MAG welding, but the welding method can also be TIG welding, arc brazing, plasma welding, laser welding or hybrid laser welding.

The robot welding cell can be programmed online or offline:

  • Online programming: Programming takes place inside the robot welding cell by moving the welding robot and the workpiece positioner through the desired points and recording the coordinates and other commands (eg. welding ON/OFF) in the robot’s memory.
  • Offline programming: The programming is done with computer software where a 3D model of the workpiece is placed in the 3D model of the welding cell. Motion and other commands are taught to the robot and the workpiece positioner on the same principle as online programming, but programming is done on a computer at the same time as the robot can weld other job in the welding shop.

Offline programming software is a wise investment if the batch sizes are small and the time spent to online programming would consume too much welding cell capacity.

In practice, robotic welding always uses automatic seam tracking, which can be based on welding voltage monitoring or machine vision.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Ionix Robot Welding Cells

Ionix provides customized robot welding cells and engineering services for robot welding. Contact us for more information!