Best application 2021: Automation of a welding process
Abagy Robotic Systems, the provider of turnkey robotic welding solutions for manufacturers, developed a solution for an automated welding process, which was required due to the lack of qualified welders and the need to increase productivity and throughput. The automation of the welding process was a challenging task given the high throughput and high quality required and the fact that robots could not be used for non-serial production.
The robotic cell with the dimensions of 21 m x 8 m x 3 m (L x W x H) consists of 2x Kuka robots on linear motions, 2x sets of Fronius welding equipment, 2x Photoneo PhoXi 3D scanner XL, and ABAGY adaptive software.
The automated solution enables the detection of the position of an object that is placed randomly without any reference points. Based on the raw point cloud data received from the PhoXi 3D Scanner, the system finds correspondences with the original 3D model and the Abagy software adapts the robot trajectories to the real workpiece automatically without human intervention. This tremendously reduces the time for robotic programming.
Abagy Robotic Systems decided to use the PhoXi 3D Scanner XL from Photoneo based on its high quality of scans, a large scanning volume enabling the scanning of large metal objects, and its relatively small body dimensions.
One of the major advantages of the solution is that it enables the use of robots for non-serial production with economical efficiency.
Welding costs details for an arc time of 1 hour as approved by the customer: 1x welder = 79 EUR, 1x robot = 33 EUR, 2x robots = 27 EUR.
Other benefits of robotic welding include the reduction of arc time by 70-80% (compared to 15% in manual operation), grinding reduction by 30%, 31% savings on wire (reduction of the leg of the seam by 1 mm), 10% savings on gas, savings on assembly defects detected in the scanning stage before welding as a deviation of the real product from the 3D model (deviation in the geometry of the product), saved costs for redistribution when the quality control department detects an assembly defect after welding before painting, saved costs for the redistribution of assembly defects revealed after the painting of the product before shipment, saved costs for the redistribution of assembly defects revealed in the stage of installation.
The automation solution offers the following benefits:
- Flexibility and adaptability of the system
- Ability to use the robotic cell for various products within the dimensions of thе working area
- Ability to position the workpiece in the working area without reference points
- Detection of the position of the object and its correspondences with the original 3D model
- Detection of deviations within the tolerances defined by the end-user
- Welding with tooling and without
- Various customizations of the welding process such as special weavings
- The customer can independently change the operation parameters in the interface
- Unified platform
- Ability to use 3D models of the products in all robotic operations since the work takes place on a single platform
- The creation of a technical card with a base of welds is not tied to a specific robot or robotic complex, which allows them to be used in any robotic cell. This will make it possible to redistribute products to different robotic cells if the need arises
- Training of employees to work with one software for any robotic cell with any operations