Robotic tube and automated pipe welding continue to grow in popularity. Take a quick look at the main reasons why:
1. New Technologies: Welding awkwardly-shaped piping and tubing can prove very difficult, even for a robotic welder. But recent developments in robotic technologies have paved the way for sophisticated robotic pipe welding solutions. Some of the latest enhancements include:
Sensors: When equipped with various sensing systems, a pipe welding robot can actually "feel" where a weld should be. For instance, tactile and proximity sensors can work together to locate and position a torch correctly. This is an ideal system for small-batch pipe and tube welding.
Through-the-Arc Tracking: With through-the-arc tracking, the beginning and end of a weldment can be inputted and the robot will trace the path in between. This saves time and increases the weld accuracy of arc welding applications.
Off-line Programming: New off-line programming software leads to higher-quality pipe and tube welding and efficiency. Programming doesn't have to lead to additional system down time. Instead, all the unique angles, diameters, and curves can be carefully programmed through computer software. Such off-line programming also allows programmers to test out various weld setups.
2. Flexibility: Robotic arms offer unmatched dexterity and reach. While manual pipe and tube welding often requires frequent stops and starts for re-positioning the torch, robots can realign without pausing. Hard-to-reach angles and orbital welds are also less taxing for industrial robots.
3. Weld Quality: Robots are able to perform top quality welds with higher deposition levels and consistency, even at awkward angles. With robotic pipe and tube welding the thermal impact is reduced as well, minimizing distortion and the need for later corrections.
4. Productivity: Simply put, robotic pipe and tube welding is more reliable. With fully automated or even hybrid robot and manual pipe welding, there are fewer mistakes and defects. This in turn saves time and materials. Automated welding robots produce consistent pipe weld quality and throughput every time.