TIG Welding Robots Boost Speed and Quality

Sep 15, 2023

Of the many different types of welding automations available, TIG welding is one of the most popular. TIG welding is protected in an inert gas environment and uses an electric arc between a tungsten electrode and the metal being welded. There are a variety of TIG welding robots available with the major manufacturers such as Fanuc, KUKA, and Motoman.


Robot­ic weld­ing began in the 1980s and has steadi­ly grown to become the dom­i­nant appli­ca­tion for indus­tri­al robots. Of the many dif­fer­ent weld­ing process­es, tung­sten inert gas weld­ing, or TIG weld­ing, is the most com­mon. TIG weld­ing involves using an elec­tric arc between a non-con­sum­able tung­sten elec­trode and the met­al being weld­ed, all while pro­tect­ed in an inert gas environment.

TIG weld­ing robots have recent­ly made great strides in con­trol pre­ci­sion, repeata­bil­i­ty, speed, and range of motion. These improve­ments allow unit costs to be kept low with­out sac­ri­fic­ing qual­i­ty, which is key to thriv­ing in the mod­ern ultra-com­pet­i­tive marketplace.

Among the mak­ers of robot­ic TIG welders, Fanuc Robot­ics, KUKA, and Motoman Robot­ics stand out as the indus­try lead­ers. All three com­pa­nies have con­tin­u­al­ly improved their offer­ings in the TIG weld­ing robot mar­ket, lead­ing to cut­ting-edge designs like the Fanuc Arc Mate 100i, the KUKA KR6 and KR-16 L83, and the Motoman MA1400 and VA1400.

The Fanuc Arc Mate 100i TIG weld­ing robot incor­po­rates desir­able fea­tures like a reduced wrist size to allow it to reach and weld more areas. It also fea­tures inter­nal rout­ing of elec­tric cabling and gas lines inside the robot arm. The Arc Mate 100i’s patent­ed Tur­bo­Move advanced ser­vo con­trols allow it to move more quick­ly and smooth­ly to dif­fer­ent areas of the prod­uct, fur­ther reduc­ing prod­uct cycle time with­out sac­ri­fic­ing quality. 

KUKA has also devel­oped mul­ti­ple options for TIG weld­ing robots. Options range from the reli­able yet com­pact and eco­nom­i­cal KR5 ARC to the top-of-the-line KR-16 L83 ARC with out­stand­ing .04mm repeata­bil­i­ty and large 8kg pay­load capac­i­ty. The KR-16 L83 TIG weld­ing robot also fea­tures a hol­low-wrist design, allow­ing the TIG weld­ing tool­ing to be housed inside the robot arm, pro­tect­ing it from dam­age and reduc­ing unde­sir­able whiplash” effects from the robot moving. 

In the Motoman Robot­ics line of TIG robot­ic welders, the most notable are the MA1400 and VA1400 mod­els. Like their com­peti­tors’ mod­els, both of these Motoman TIG weld­ing robots fea­ture inter­nal elec­tri­cal cabling and gas lines as well as indus­try-lead­ing pay­load and repeata­bil­i­ty specs. How­ev­er, only the VA1400 fea­tures a unique elbow-like joint, allow­ing 7‑axis mobil­i­ty as opposed to the 6 axes offered in all oth­er com­pet­ing TIG weld­ing robots. The increased mobil­i­ty of Motoman’s VA1400 weld­ing robot allows it to reach more areas, reduc­ing the num­ber of robots need­ed to com­plete a spe­cif­ic TIG weld­ing application.

For more infor­ma­tion on TIG weld­ing robots, dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers, and spe­cif­ic mod­els, click on the fol­low­ing links for Fanuc, KUKA, and Motoman TIG weld­ing robots. If you have any ques­tions about TIG Weld­ing robot­ic inte­gra­tion, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

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