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Flexible Welding Automation in Action

By August 2, 2019Media
spool welding robot with a welder

Cobot tech allows welders to do what they do best; automation does the rest.

Published by: CANADIAN FABRICATING & WELDING – August 2, 2019

By: Rob Colman

Earlier this summer Vancouver-based Novarc Technologies hosted its first open house at its headquarters to complement open houses it recently hosted at distributor facilities across the U.S. The enthusiastic response of attendees suggests that the benefits of collaborative robot (cobot) applications will prompt further market penetration of these systems in a variety of configurations.

Pipe Welding in Comfort

Novarc first appeared in the market with its collaborative Spool Welding Robot (SWR) two years ago. The semi-automatic robotic setup is designed for pipe welding, small pressure vessel manufacturing, and other roll welding applications.

The device uses a 3-axis robotic arm at the end of a long-reach manipulator, which is designed to increase the dexterity and flexibility of human operators. It allows them to complete a full-penetration root to cap pipe weld.

In action, it clearly makes life easier for the pipe welder who is used to setting down a weld manually. The operator moves the robot to the joint and, after entering the parameters on a touchscreen, can start welding quickly; no robotic programming skills are needed.

A camera is set up to watch the deposition process, so the operator can react to this in real time, modifying weld parameters as he goes. It means the operator is exposed to less weld fumes and doesn’t experience the fatigue of being hunched over the weld. Welds are also easily repeatable because the system saves previously used welding procedures.

The SWR allows operators to choose between single pass or pre-programmed multipass welds. The water-cooled torch uses a 500-amp power supply.

The way the system is set up on an overhead boom arm allows a welder to move from joint to joint within a 15-foot radius of the base, while working with multiple positioners; no fence is required, allowing the system to be lifted out of the way of other shop traffic when not in use.

The SWR can store and recount weld data for shop analysis and statistical reporting as well.

Weld Know-how, Automation Support

Chris Thurow, quality and welding technology manager, Samuel Pressure Vessel Group, attended one of the company’s recent open houses and saw how the automation made sense for the work his company does. Read More.

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