Six-axis robots have been around for a while; however, they are quickly evolving in programming complexity and providing for quick, yet precise products. They are amazingly dexterous and have already been assigned missions in space, ocean’s depths, battlefields, and hospital operating rooms. The six axes allows for a large usable work area while also maintaining a very compact footprint. In addition, there are now advanced tools on the robots such as TAST, Touch Sensing, 2D or 3D Vision Systems, and Laser Vision Tracking. These technologies aid in decreasing problems caused by part and tooling imperfections and permits an expansion of welding opportunities that were not previously possible.
Through Arc Seam Tracking (TAST) is a low-cost software that uses welding current feedback to determine the vertical and lateral position of the torch. TAST is best used in applications with material thickness greater than 2 mm and travel speeds between 35–50 inches ipm (inches per minute).
Touch Sensing is also a low-cost software that uses the welding electrode, nozzle, or other sensing pointer to make electrical contact with the part. It allows for adjustments in one, two, or three dimensions.
2D or 3D Vision Systems greatly enhances cycle time. Touch sensing can take 3-5 seconds to perform calculations for a joint, whereas a 2D camera can cut this time to tenths of a second. 2D Vision Systems also have an excellent error detection function that prevents an error in route or detects it before the robot executes the next action. 3D systems use an additional laser that adds detection for changes in height, pitch, and yaw.
Laser Vision Tracking provides a three-dimensional real time method for tracking weld seams. The camera’s software detects the joint seam based on the distortion on the projected laser line, and then provides feedback to the robot regarding gap and fit up variations. The laser uses a single wavelength making it unsusceptible to ambient light interference. Digital technology allows for the sensor to have a wider range, clearer signal, and roughly four times more precise and faster scanning rates.
Another benefit to these six-axis robots is the cable management systems that provide a more flexible cable approach. One long restrictive cable package prevents movement and is more likely to get damaged. So the six-axis robot’s cords are divided into three sections which is the key to longer-lasting cables. . There are also cable options that run internally, through the robot arm to protect them from wear and tear.
These technologies all help to speed up production, while also increasing the accuracy during applications – improving productivity while not sacrificing quality. To read even more about the benefits click here.
It is now evident why the request for six-axis robots is on the rise with their limitless applications.
Are you interested in a six-axis robot and the technology that they can bring to a production line? If this is the case, then you should contact RobotWorx, a certified integrator for some of the top robotics companies in the industry, including FANUC, Motoman, KUKA, Universal Robots, and ABB. Our staff will work with you help you develop the perfect robotic system for your facility, ensuring that you get the best system and the best price for your money. Give us a call at 740-251-4312.