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By: Soroush Karimzadeh, CEO, Novarc Technologies

Published By: FABshop Magazine Dec 2022 – , Pg. 30 – 34

Excerpt taken from Pg. 31-34

The shift to automation helps one fabrication shop produce high-quality and consistent welds

Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors (MMC) provides services to design complete mechanical systems including HVAC, chiller and boiler systems, plumbing, sheet metal fabrication, and service and mechanical to a numbers of commercial facilities located in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, south Dakota and Wisconsin. In business since 1963, the company has completed projects for the Mall of America, Target center, Target field and Xcel Energy Center. And that’s just in Minnesota.

When evaluating pipe welding automation systems for the fabrication shop, MMC was looking for a solution that would help achieve consistent, high-quality welds.

“The projects that we work on vary a lot,” says Corey Hagerty, pipe fitting shop foreman at MMC. :Specific jobs typically require a percentage for X-ray and ultrasound testing. Sometimes a job is 100 percent X-ray, and sometimes 10 percent. What was important for us was to improve the quality and consistency of our welds.”

Path to automation

Novarc Technologies works with fabricators around the globe that are serving a number  of industries but need an affordable path to automation. Novarc’s Spool Welding Robot (SWR) is a welding cobot (collaborative robot) designed specifically for pipe, small pressure vessels and other types of roll welding. It’s also specifically designed to provide pipe fabrication shops a smart solution that promotes safety, reduces costs, increases productivity and improves weld quality.

MMC purchased a Novarc SWR in 2022, and the move to automation has made a world of difference in weld quality and capacity. MMC appreciated the technical support, as well.

“The Novarc Academy was also a great help,” Hagerty says. “I walked through the training sessions myself, and I think that it took out a lot of the unknown and the pessimistic views that a lot of welders can have towards automation. The fact that they can override the SWR interact with it and make adjustments on the fly is a huge benefit. I fully believe that’s th benefit of it over other  semi-automatic processes.”

“Before implementing the SWR, we typically had three to four guys welding, depending on th project, and we averaged from 60 to 80 factored diameter inches (FDI) a day.” Hagerty continues. “Current;y we’re doing 200 to 250 FDI a day on the SWR, and we even achieved 290 FDI in one day. The SWR has helped with our capacity on the larger projects, and that’s definitely where we have shined.”

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