How Impactful Are Welding Robots?

As manufacturing processes increase in complexity and productivity expectations increase in volume, more businesses are turning to automated welding systems for their cutting needs. These systems handle straightforward tasks and allow your workers to focus on more important jobs at your facility. But how impactful are welding robots? Read more about the effect robotics has had on manufacturing and the benefits offered by robotic automation.

What Are Automated Welding Systems?

Automated welding systems fuse two materials using mechanized programmable tools that heat, mix, and cool the metal materials. Many industries are becoming more reliant on robotic welding, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Material Handling
  • Chemical

What Role Does Robotics Have in Manufacturing?

Robotic automated welding systems play an important role in many manufacturing processes. They streamline the overall workflow by taking on repetitive production tasks. Today, robotic automation applications fall into five categories:

Material Handling

Robotic automation systems eliminate human error, making them ideal for material handling processes. These systems keep your employees safe by taking on the task of moving heavy or dangerous items throughout a warehouse.

Welding

Using heat and pressure to join metal pieces is dangerous and requires exact precision. Automated welding systems are becoming a popular choice because they eliminate mistakes and enhance welder safety. Robotic systems also collaborate with humans on dangerous welding jobs or tasks that involve high volumes of harmful materials.

Assembly

Assembling product parts is a tedious and lengthy job for many employees. Robotic automation systems excel at repetitive tasks and streamline assembly processes by increasing efficiency and reducing errors.

Dispensing

Automated systems are ideal for repetitive processes that require the application of glue, paint, or sprays. Using robots for dispensing jobs also increases safety by reducing employee exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Processing

Some products require a specific type of processing, including carving, polishing, or sawing. Facilities use robotic automation systems for these tasks because they operate autonomously and eliminate human errors.

What Are the Benefits of Automated Welding Systems?

While implementing an automated welding system has significant upfront costs, they provide various benefits for businesses. These include:

Enhanced Weld Quality

Businesses are drawn to automated welding systems because they deliver a more consistent weld quality. Welding robots also minimize the number of sizing errors. Manual welders determine the welds’ size using their best judgment, but robots are programmed to select the right joint dimension. This enhanced quality and accuracy limit production time and materials used.

Lowered Production Costs

The long-term reduction in production costs offsets the cost of implementing welding robots. Robotic welders increase efficiency and reduce expenses by requiring fewer consumables than manual welders and minimizing wasted materials. This allows them to fully produce items at lower costs and increase overall productivity.

Increased Productivity

Implementing an automated welding system allows businesses to maintain production for 24 hours. Robotic welding systems also can be programmed to complete mundane tasks, allowing your human workers to focus on more complex and meaningful jobs at your facility.

Want to learn more about the benefits of automated welding systems? Contact CK Supply and one of our experts will answer all of your questions!

Automated Welding Systems Offered by CK Supply

CK Supply understands the impact welding robots have on many industrial processes. That’s why we offer access to premier robotic welding and plasma cutting from leading manufacturers. We have various robotic automated welding systems options designed to fit your needs, including:

Fixed Robotic Automation

Fixed automation systems are ideal for tasks that involve repeatable welds. These systems serve as the starting point for businesses looking to integrate robotics into their processes. Large manufacturing operations use fixed welding solutions because they require minimal programming and training.

Flexible Robotic Automation

Flexible automation is a recent automated welding system innovation. While fixed automation systems excel at producing straight weld cuts, flexible automation systems are ideal for processes that require twists and turns. This solution allows companies to enhance productivity and maintain revenue streams.

Vectis Cobot Automation

The Vectis cobot automation system represents the latest development in collaborative robot technology. This automation system allows the programmer to teach the robot by physically moving the equipment to program points. Vectis cobots safely work alongside humans without permanent barriers and keep your employees out of harm’s way.

Our Automated Welding System Services

Implementing welding robots into your organization may seem like a challenging process. That’s why CK Supply offers automated welding system services that simplify everything, including:

Training

Our Hil Bax Technical Center offers welding courses and hands-on demonstrations that introduce our clients to the latest welding techniques and technology. We have a team of certified instructors and inspectors that answer all of your questions through specialized training programs. Our training courses can be performed onsite at your business or our training facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

Repair

Automated welding systems often operate in challenging conditions, and basic maintenance prevents complications. We offer repair services that fix most welding machine models and minimize downtime. Our technicians are available to perform onsite repairs, and we’re a certified warranty center for the following brands:

  • Miller
  • Lincoln
  • Hypertherm

CK Supply: A Leading Welding Supply Company

CK Supply has been a leading supplier of industrial welding equipment since 1948. Our team is committed to making things better every day for our clients and maintains this commitment by sticking to our core values:

  • People oriented: Our team is honest and respectful to our clients.
  • Solutions focused: We’re knowledgeable and pride ourselves on being problem solvers.
  • Driven: Our team is hardworking and dedicated to helping our clients
  • Passionate: We’re winners and always possess a positive attitude

Contact us today to learn more about our selection of automated welding systems.

 

The Different Types of Welds and Joints

Types of Welds and Joints

Welding is a complex process that requires extensive knowledge and skill. Over the centuries, several techniques of welds and joints have developed to increase efficiency. Read more about the types of welds and joints used in various industries and the selection of welding tools and equipment offered by CK Supply.

Types of Welds

The type of weld used depends on various factors, including:

  • Where you’re welding
  • The industry you’re working in
  • The types of metal you’re using

Here’s a guide to the four main types of welding techniques.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

MIG welding uses an electric current to fuse metal and is one of the most common methods. Welders form an electric arc between a consumable wire and metals, then guide the wire using a contact tip. Shielding gas is fed through the welding gun to protect the weld from contaminants, while the consistent wire feeding melts workpiece metals and joins them inside the weld pool radius. MIG welding is commonly used in the automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

TIG welding fuses metal by creating an electrical current with a non-consumable tungsten electrode stick. This method requires an inert shielding gas, typically helium and argon, to protect the weld area and electrode from atmospheric contamination. The TIG process involves electrical energy produced from a constant-current welding power source; the energy is conducted across the arc through a plasma column.

TIG welding is perfect when working with thin sections of stainless steel, aluminum, copper alloys, or magnesium. Technicians use TIG welding if they want greater control over the weld, delivering stronger and higher-quality welds. TIG welding is primarily used in the aerospace and energy industries.

Stick Welding

Stick welding fuses metal using a flux-coated electrode to produce an electrical current. Welders use carbon steel and other filler metal to weld joints between base metals. Technicians prefer stick welding because it’s portable, doesn’t require a shielding gas, and creates effective bonds on unclean surfaces. Some of the industries that use stick welding include construction, metal fabrication, and shipbuilding.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Flux-cored arc welding is similar to MIG welding because it requires a continuous wire and power supply. However, the difference lies in the electrode. Flux-cored arc welding uses a hollow tube electrode filled with flux and fed into the weld pool with a weld gun. This welding method is ideal for outdoor use because it offers protection against the elements. Flux-cored arc welding is used in the shipbuilding and construction industries because it’s effective at welding thicker metals.

Types of Joints

Weld joint design refers to how pieces of metal are fused. Each joint’s design impacts the quality, and making the proper selection requires careful attention. Here are the five basic types of welding joints:

Butt Joint

A butt joint is the most common type used in welding. The process involves placing two metal pieces on the same plane and fusing the sides together. The melted surface is known as the paying surface and can be shaped before welding to increase strength. Common defects of butt joints include burn-through, incomplete penetration, and porosity.

Tee Joint

Tee joints are formed by intersecting two metals at a 90-degree angle so the edges fuse in the center and create a T shape. The joint may be two plates, a tube onto a plate, or a pipe onto a cylindrical metal. Welding metals into a tee joint requires effective penetration into the weld’s roof. A common defect with tee joint welding is lamellar tearing, which happens when the joints are restricted.

Corner Joint

Corner joints are similar to tee joints but differ in metal positioning. While metals in tee joint welding meet in the middle, corner joints join and form an L shape. Corner joint welding is common in the sheet metal industry, specifically in the construction of frames and boxes. Common defects in corner joint welding include weld surface irregularities and imperfections.

Lap Joint

Lap joints are created by placing two metal pieces in an overlapping pattern. These joints are typically used to fuse metals with different thicknesses together. The amount of overlap is determined by the metal’s consistency, and eliminating gaps is critical to maintaining the joint’s strength. Lap joints are used in the automotive industry, and common defects include lamellar tearing and corrosion.

Edge Joint

An edge joint fuses metals on an even edge. The purpose of welding edge joints is to bind pieces together and evenly distribute stress. Welders must be careful to avoid corrosion, slag inclusion, and porosity when creating an edge joint.

Need Industrial Gas for Your Welding Processes?

We have an extensive selection of industrial gases that fuel your operations. Contact us today to learn more.

Source Your Welding Tools and Equipment from CK Supply

Supplying your technicians with the best equipment increases welding efficiency and enhances productivity. CK Supply has partnered with the best brands to offer high-quality welding gear, including:

  • Miller
  • Lincoln
  • Black Stallion
  • Blue Demon

We also provide personal protection equipment to maintain safety at your facility. Our safety options include:

  • Welding helmets
  • Safety goggles
  • Welding caps

Along with our extensive line of welding equipment, we also offer industry-leading services, including:

Welding Equipment in Construction

Construction Site Welding Technology

The roots of welding go as far back as the Bronze Age, but its origins in the construction industry began in the early 19th century when stud welding debuted. Since then, various welding techniques have made constructing sturdier buildings possible. Read more about the techniques welder builders use and recent advancements in welding technology.

Conventional Types of Welding in Building Construction

Welders use various processes in building construction, and each process serves a particular need and requires specific equipment. Here are the four main types of construction site welding:

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

MIG welding is a technique that uses electric current to melt and fuse metals. This process forms an electric arc between a consumable welding wire and metal; a contact tip then transfers an electric current that guides the wire. MIG welding also requires a shielding gas that’s fed through a welding gun. Shielding gas plays an important role because they protect the weld from contaminants. Welders prefer MIG welding because it’s clean and offers long-pass capability.

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to generate an electric current that melts and fuses metal. Technicians use TIG welding to combine thin sections of stainless steel and metals. While difficult to master, it’s a versatile technique that offers welders greater control and produces precise welds.

Stick Welding

Stick welding melts and fuses metals using an electrical current created with a consumable flux-coated electrode. This method is used in construction to weld joins between base metals. Stick welding is versatile and efficiently welds iron, steel, aluminum, nickel, and copper alloys.

Recent Advancements in Construction Site Welding Technology

Just because welding has been around for a long time doesn’t mean there isn’t room for innovation. Technicians are always looking for new and efficient ways to join metals. Recent advancements in welding technologies include:

Plasma Welding

Plasma cutting is a method that uses a jet of hot ionized plasma to cut through electrically conductive metals. The pilot arc generated from plasma cutting approaches 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit and results in cleaner cuts than other techniques. Some of the metals that are ideal for plasma welding include:

  • Aluminum
  • Mild steel
  • Brass copper

Robotic Automation Welding

A 2021 survey found that four out of five construction companies plan to introduce robotic welding into their operation in the next 10 years. Robotic automation welding machines can be programmed to perform simple tasks on construction sites, freeing up your workers for more complex jobs. Other benefits of automation include:

Increased Productivity

Robots can work 24-hour shifts at consistent speeds, increasing productivity by completing projects more quickly.

Improved Safety

Welding is dangerous, and proper safety measures need to be adopted to protect workers. Robotic welding machines don’t need to be protected from toxic fumes and bright flashes, creating a safer working environment for your employees.

Limited Waste

Robotic welding machines provide precise welding measurements, creating fewer errors and generating less waste.

Reduced Costs

While robotic automation welding machines have high start-up costs, they provide long-term cost savings by increasing productivity and limiting mistakes.

Do you have the industrial gases you need for a proper weld?

We’re Missouri’s largest independent supplier of industrial gases because we offer high-quality gases and an innovative delivery system. Contact us today to learn more.

CK Supply: Supplying Portable Welding Equipment and More for the Construction Industry Since 1948

CK Supply has provided welding equipment for various industries for over 70 years. We know how important quality welding equipment is to the construction industry and maintain a selection of major brand welding equipment, like:

We also keep a stocked selection of protective gear designed to maximize safety at your facility, including goggles and gloves. Our commitment to our clients extends beyond supplying equipment; we offer industry-leading services including:

Welding Rentals

We have a convenient welding equipment rental program that allows our clients to receive up-to-date welders from the industry’s top producers. Whether you need equipment for a few days or a few months, our stock of rental equipment ensures that you have the equipment you need.

Welding Repair

Exposure to dust and dirt can cause equipment breakdown. When this happens, our team of certified repair technicians is available to repair your portable welding equipment. We can fix most welding machine models and provide onsite repairs.

Welding Training

Welding technology is constantly evolving, and keeping up-to-date on industry trends allows you to provide the best service. We offer education courses at our Hil Bax Technical Center that introduces participants to the latest welding techniques. Our classes include introductions to robotics and automation welding.

Contact CK Supply today to learn more about our services and high-quality welding equipment.

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