Automating your welding process will help to increase your product throughput and bring an overall greater efficiency to your production line. Many manufacturers can keep their welding nozzles clean and productivity maximized by integrating a torch cleaning station also known as a reamer. Reamers help to improve the overall efficiency by helping to minimize spatter and debris in the nozzle. As with any mechanical system, proper maintenance and upkeep is important to keep the automated welding process streamlined; here we suggest the many benefits of a torch cleaning station and some maintenance tips for even greater success on your production line.
Benefits: A torch cleaning station will decrease spatter and debris, reduce downtime for maintenance, and prolong consumables life when used and installed properly. It will keep your robotic welding cell productive and improve the weld quality on your production line by removing accumulating spatter from inside the gas metal arc welding gun’s front-end consumables.
By removing the spatter often, a reamer can help to prevent the loss of shielding gas and ensure a smooth coverage to protect the weld pool
It can also reduce the risk of spatter lodging between the contact tip or retaining head and the nozzle; both of which could result in arcing against the part.
Manually, it would take five+ minutes to clean a torch nozzle; a reamer can conduct the job in a matter of seconds.
beneficial to integrate an automated welding system.
Installation Tips: As always, be sure to follow the manufacturers guide for specific installation directions and tips. However, here are a few brief guidelines to follow alongside the manufacturers guide.
The overall goal is to have the cutter blade reach the gas holes without rubbing against them.
The nozzle should sit tangent on the two angled faces of the appropriate sized V-block.
There should be four points of contact: two faces on the V-block and two faces on the reamer clamp.
As long as the position doesn’t increase debris collection in the clamp housing, a reamer can be mounted in just about any position.
It is important to make note of the base plate position and the antispatter sprayer to ensure the spray reservoir will not leak when full.
A multifeed system eliminates the need for a sprayer reservoir as the feeding of antispatter compound to multiple reamers from a single drum placed on the floor or a shelf.
Size considerations: The V-block inside the top of the reamer needs to be the correct size for the specific nozzle. If you use the incorrect size for the nozzle, the reamer will be off-center and the cutter will crash into the nozzle. The cutter blade is the correct size for the nozzle bore and the insertion depth of the nozzle to the reamer is
Additional Options: Anti-spatter compound can be sprayed alongside the reamer’s work. The manufacturer’s chart should be followed for proper setup. However, keep in mind that if the sprayer is too far, it won’t provide adequate coverage; too close may cause over-saturation. The spray time also need not exceed more than a half-second.
Suggested Frequency of Cleaning: The part and the application will determine the ream frequency that is necessary for ultimate productivity. If your line is reaming too often, then it will decrease production time; not soon enough will cause heavy spatter to build up. Spending some time observing your operation and then making the appropriate adjustments will help to get the timing just right.
The Home Signal: The home signal will drop off when the start signal closes the clamps and raises the spindle. When the cycle is complete, the clamps will then open and the home signal returns. Keeping a watch on the reamer’s home signal reduces issues and guesswork during the cleaning cycle. If the gun moves away too early, the reamer can pull the nozzle off the gun; configuring the correct timing is important.
Two Types of Reamer Options:
Analog- Have a multiconductor cord set and air supply. Each conductor relays a specific task signaling the system to start, spray, and return to home.
Digital- Use a network cable to send commands to an IP address. Digital reamers can control all of the functions that make up a ream cycle: start, spray, clamp, lift, lower, and turn the motor on and off. Another benefit of a digital reamer is the ability for remote monitoring and the ability to track the status of each function to determine where the problem lies. Digital reamers use a network cable to send commands to an IP address. They can control individual functions without being limited to the number of leads in the cord set, as an analog reamer is. Beyond being told to start and spray, a digital reamer also can be told to clamp, lift, lower, and turn the motor on and off—all of the functions that make up a ream cycle.
Preventative Maintenance: Inspecting the unit on a regular basis will help keep it running for decades.
Clean the V-block and jaws of debris (buildup can push the nozzle out of position).
Keep all clamp faces clean by scraping them on the V-block to remove debris.
Clean the top seal on the spindle under the cutter (excess can score the shaft on the spindle).
When considering robotic welding, a nozzle cleaned by a reamer will help produce a better weld quality and reduce future problems that could be costly. A torch cleaning station will make your robotic welding process much more productive. To integrate a torch welding station on your production line, contact RobotWorx representatives online or at 740-251-4312.