Hard automation is a starting point for businesses that want to integrate robotics in their processes, particularly if they have relied on manual welding to accomplish long, repeatable welds. Hard automation can be re-tooled and adjusted to accomplish other tasks.
Fixed automation systems will benefit large manufacturing operations that manufacture specific parts and products and rely on repeatable quality for every welded piece. Say an application requires welding 20 feet of an I-beam. Even a highly experienced manual welder would struggle to complete a consistent weld, but with positioners and a fixed welding gun, hard automation can travel along the beam to create a straight, consistent weld. The larger the application is, the more cost-effective fixed welding will be.
Hard automation requires little programming, and some systems can be manually controlled. Fixed automation systems depend on the process itself, which means it is simpler to train an operator to use the robot. Also, no programming experience is needed, only welding, which reduces setup times and complexity. Another important benefit of fixed automation systems is that it doesn’t take much time or resources to train a welder to use automatic positioning and fixed welding systems to accomplish the same process.