When it comes to joining and adhering parts together, manufacturers often have the choice of several welding methods. Sometimes, manufacturers have to come up with creative welding ideas. MIG, TIG, plasma, cold, and plastic welding are several creative welding techniques that are employed in today’s manufacturing.
MIG Welding: MIG welding, also called gas metal arc welding (GMAW), is a very common form of welding. An arc is formed between a consumable wire electrode and the metal work piece. Electricity is used to melt the consumable wire and the metal parts together, forming one solid part. Industrial robot arms very commonly perform MIG welding with the help of accessories such as wire feeders and torch cleaning stations.
TIG Welding: TIG welding, also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is similar to MIG welding in that it uses electricity and an electrode to produce the weld. The difference comes from the type of electrode and process. The electrode used in TIG welding is non-consumable and is made of tungsten. A shielding gas surrounds the electrode to protect it from contaminants during the welding process. TIG welding is often used to weld thin stainless steel or other non-ferrous metals. Because of its difficulty to complete manually, an industrial robot arm is often used to automate TIG welding.
Plasma Welding: Plasma welding is an improvement over traditional TIG welding. Using the same principles and many of the same components, plasma welding uses a copper nozzle. Like TIG welding, plasma welding is often automated through the use of industrial robot arms because of the difficultly in mastering the skill.
Cold Welding: Cold welding uses no electricity to join metal parts. Instead of using molten metal and wire, two flat surfaces of similar metals will attract to each other strongly in vacuum conditions. Cold welding can be seen in microscopic electronic manufacturing. This type of welding is most effective on gold nanowires on the microscopic level.
Plastic Welding: Plastic welding uses the same general principles of other “hot” welding methods. The difference is that the parts being welded are plastic, not metal. Because of this, very hot air is directed at the parts to melt them and adhere them together.
Industrial robot arms are commonly used in the first three types of welding. These three welding methods are also known as arc welding. FANUC, Motoman, and KUKA all design and manufacture industrial robot arms to automate all three arc welding applications. FANUC’s ARC Mate series, Motoman’s EA series, and KUKA’s low payload series are all designed to handle arc welding dress packages. These robot arms can be programmed to provide creative welding solutions and provide extreme precision and quality.
To learn more about arc welding solutions and creative welding solutions, contact RobotWorx at 740-251-4312 today.