Why Fabricators Rely on Robotic Welding
With Industry 4.0 and the digitalization of manufacturing, technology is revolutionizing every aspect of machine shops – and welding is no exception. Robotic welding has been integral to manufacturing for many years and offers fabricators numerous advantages over traditional manual welding. The key benefit of automated welding is the ability to rapidly produce high-quality welds, increasing fabrication efficiency and consistency as well as safety on the shop floor. Many industries employ robots for welding operations and some common forms of robotic welding include resistance, spot, arc, TIG, MIG, laser, and plasma welds.
Fabricators rely on robotic welding for heavy fabrications for the reasons noted below including higher quality, throughput and safety – all of which lead to a competitive edge for machine shops. State-of-the-art technologies, like robotic welding, make fabricators, like ABS, stand out from the competition. These shops deliver high-quality parts in less time – making for very happy customers. At ABS, our high level of production quality and repeatability enable us to deliver consistent products to customers – becoming their trusted fabrication partner for the long-term.
- Enhanced Precision and Quality: it is simply unrealistic to expect an operator to perform a job exactly the same every single time. Conversely, robots are designed to do just that: create excellent quality welds with incredible precision every time. Once programmed, robotic welding machines perform the exact job parameters and specifications - flawlessly. Heavy fabrications are often very large with intricate geometries, and some of these parts undergo significant stress. For these reasons, the welds must be consistent and precise, and free of voids and contaminants, in order to ensure stability and longevity of the part. Human welding can often introduce variance and inconsistencies, whereas, robotic welding machines are known for their excellent precision and quality. Many heavy fabrications require high precision and alignment of parts that are challenging – if not impossible - to achieve with manual welding. Since robots produce more consistent, efficient welds with fewer errors, they drive production consistency – leading to fewer rejected parts and maximum efficiency.
- Increased Throughput: fabricators rely on robotic welding for heavy fabrications because it saves considerable amounts of time. Robots are able to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no fatigue or need for breaks except for occasional maintenance. Robots are designed to execute a specific job, typically a repetitive task, and are known for their efficiency on the shop floor. As a general rule of thumb, well-trained welding operators often perform around 50% arc-on time while robots are between 75-95% arc-on time. This increased productivity allows robotic welding to complete the job quicker. In addition, welding mistakes are avoided with robotic welding, eliminating the time spent on rework or refabrication of parts. For these reasons, robots are capable of higher welding productivity and throughput. Higher volumes and faster cycle times translate to lower costs that provide a critical competitive edge to manufacturers. Additionally, multi-axis robots or robots fitted with slender arms are able to reach difficult welding locations that are common on heavy fabrications due to their large size and unique geometry. Employing robots speeds up the manufacturing process, reduces costs, and enables more throughput – streamlining fabrication and leading to a faster speed to market.
- Less Waste Generation: since robots produce more consistent welds with fewer errors, there is less rework required and lower waste generated during heavy fabrications – making robotic welding more cost effective than traditional manual methods. Robots use the precise amount of material required for a given job and are not tempted to “over-weld”. Robotic welding typically consumes less materials and creates less scrap and rework than manual welding – delivering a huge time and money savings for machines shops. Also, less waste generation with robotic welding results in an easier and quicker post-weld cleanup – providing additional efficiency gains. Additionally, the use of robots often saves energy as operators are not constantly starting up and shutting down welding equipment and machinery in between tasks.
- Improved Safety: welding operations during heavy fabrications often exceed temperatures of 6,500°F. Thus, it is no surprise that welding tasks present safety risks such as sparks, flash, fumes, and heat. The use of robotic welding machines removes operators from higher risk, hazardous processes, improving personnel safety. Robots are not impacted by most of these hazards and if they are damaged, robots can be repaired or replaced. A safer work environment reduces lost personnel time due to accidents on the job - leading to higher efficiency on the shop floor and, of course, a safer, happier workforce.
- Lower Labor Costs: machine shops around the world have experienced labor shortages in recent years especially highly skilled welders. Robotic welding machines are able to fill the labor gap in many cases, reducing the number of qualified personnel required for welding operations necessary for heavy fabrications - reducing the labor costs. Robots also enable a machine shop to scale production up or down more readily as market conditions and demand fluctuate over time.
Looking for reliable partner that has proven experience with heavy fabrications?
Contact the team at ABS to learn more about our efficient machining and fabrication solutions including our state-of-the-art robotic welding cells.
ABS’ Welding Expertise
ABS’ infrastructure, including our cranes, positioners, and rollers, are specifically designed to safely handle the largest and most challenging fabrications. Further complementing our heavy fabrication is our latest investments in large and complex robotic welding. The recent advancement in robotic welding, or “next generation robots”, has proven far more precise and intuitive than older designs. ABS has several cells designed to harness this technology to effectively drive quality and throughput in heavy weld deposit applications. ABS welders are certified by CWB/AWS and ASME, and are fully trained on flux-core, gas metal, submerge arc, tig and stick electrode welding techniques. Individual customer requirements are followed and enforced in conjunction with our in-house certified weld inspectors (CWI Level 2's). Below are some of our welding services:
- Robotic Welding
- Flux Core Welding
- Sub Arc Welding
- Metal Core Welding
- Mig Welding
- Full Penetration Welding
Established in 1971, ABS Machining has grown to become the recognized global leader in large CNC machining, fabrication, and assembly for OEMs. The key to our success has been exceptional people, unparalleled facilities, and an unwavering commitment to quality. Our people are experts in their given field. Their expertise is matched only by their passion for serving our clients. We continue to invest in our people with education programs, cross training and in our internal accredited apprenticeship center.
Our facilities are state-of-the-art and we are equipped to serve our client’s requirements in:
Our massive fleet of machines and automated welding systems has delivered solutions to the most technically challenging projects. Our commitment to maintaining unparalleled facilities is evidenced by our renowned continuous capital reinvestment initiatives. Our commitment to quality goes well beyond our ISO 9001:2015 Registration. From the inception of all programs, ABS quality professionals work closely with each customer to ensure all their unique requirements are met or exceeded. It is this commitment that has positioned ABS as a strategic supplier to leading OEMs worldwide.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your machining project, or give us a call at 1-844-227-6224.
CNC MACHINING · FABRICATION · ASSEMBLY
Precision Machining ↓
ABS offers a unique combination of medium to high volume production machining and welding services.
80 Large Advanced CNC Machine Tools
ABS is one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing companies in North America.
6 Plants with lifting capacity up to 160 Tons
The ABS 5-Axis machining department has been built from the ground up with our customers’ needs in mind.
Centrifugal and Turbo Machined Impellers
Fabrication & Quality Assurance ↓
Heavy Fabrication Mig, Tig, Flux Core, Sub Arc
Mig, Tig, Flux Core, Sub Arc
Inconel 625 Hotwire Tig
Inconel 625 Hotwire Tig
Quality Assurance & Control
Quality Assurance & Control