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Fixturing for Robotic Welding

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017

Robotic welding is inexpensive when correctly implemented, but it may be ineffective and invisible when easy fixture layout concerns are overlooked. Many productivity benefits are accomplished, or missing, in the design phase and while components fixturing plays a function that’s easy, very good fixture layout is essential to the achievement of a robotic welding system.

When starting a new job for robotic arc welding, then contemplate these fixture layout goals:

For the conversation, the reference to fixturing is particular to the custom made apparatus used to track down or encourage the work piece through the welding procedure.
Factors include initial price, long-term upkeep expenditures, and exclusive attributes particularly suited to this robotic welding program, such advertisement the crucial component of keeping accuracy and component repeatability within an environment subjected to elevated heating and weld spatter.

Each material has different attributes that could impact quality and productivity.

First cost factors foster using square / rectangular structural steel tubing for the vast majority of the frame of this fixture. From a use resistance perspective, fixture tough stops and finding things are usually made from alloyed high-carbon instrument steel in a bid to withstand deformation. Wiredex Pty Ltd provide laser cutting and custom metal fabricators in Melbourne. Another commonly sourced wear resistant metal, aluminium-bronze, operate hardens and isn’t as susceptible to residual magnetism when compared to tool steel.

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Pure copper is usually avoided when the thought is hardness, nevertheless, it’s the very best all-around material for electric conductivity. Electric conductivity is essential for arc welding equilibrium, the desired facet that’s vital to attaining maximum travel rates. Because of this, alloys of aluminium and zinc (brass), or aluminium and tungsten carbide might be sourced to enhance the wear resistance of aluminium. Novice fixture-builders occasionally overlook the electric conductivity facet and paint all surfaces, such as the bolted work cable link surface, that’s the origin of instant start-up troubleshooting issues.

In a robotic welding procedure, thermal expansion properties must also be contemplated. Aluminum can substantially change in volume and length when heated. Because of this, aluminium is commonly used for heat sinks, and aluminium is usually avoided in an attempt to try for part repeatability. Work bit sub-assemblies may also be physically organized and equipped with advanced welding procedures, made for not heat-input, to minimize welding distortion tendencies.

Boost the Welding Circuit

The best location of this job leads on the robotic welding fixture. As a rule of thumb, it’s desirable to find the job cable and feel lead (if appropriate), as close to the welding arc as you can, instead of indirectly via a string of bolted connections. At the best situation, link right to the work piece is favoured.

Link provisions on the fixture to guarantee that the job cable and feel guide are separated from one another, and out of any welding or robotic communication cables guarantee the best results. When more than one power supply is welding concurrently on one part, every power supply wants a work directly from the job stud into the work part. Avoid combining each of the work contributes into a single lead to decrease the arc disturbance and induced magnetism, otherwise called arc blow.

Now, also think about the anticipated welding travel instructions, together with the inclination to move in the direction away from the job lead, as revealed. Connect all of the work sense results in every power supply to the work piece at the other end.

Orient the Fixture to Make the Most of Deposition Rates

Then examine how your fittings position the job relative to a vertical orientation to make the most of this power of gravity. When welding a function in the horizontal position, gravity is still an ally. The completed welds are horizontal, uniform, and even much more readily made with greater deposition rates, which directly improve travel speeds and productivity.

When sheet metal programs were created with lap or ‘T’ joints, easy placement of this component to permit a 15-degree downhill flashlight movement could lead to travel rate.

Welding overhead could be attractive to either reduce or remove weld spatter from sticking into the part, but the spatter will inevitably adhere to the exposed surface of the fixture and tooling, necessitating long-term upkeep attention. Welding overhead additionally needs overcoming the power of gravity. Deposition rates are reduced, and it’s more challenging to keep appropriate weld shapes.

There are lots of clamping / finding options to select from if you approach a fixture in the design stage. The least complicated involves easy manual clamping like swing, push, or plunger clamps applied to some stationary or fixed table and are applied for short-run or design components. Within an R&D or short-run setting, these are extremely straightforward, low-cost techniques to find a part. The labour intensive nature of guide clamping is dependent upon flexibility and flexibility in these types of settings. Modular fixturing is a secondary choice that gives advantages of flexibility while preserving dimensional management.

These fixture installations tend to be somewhat more complex with higher first costs, and often involve the setup and routing of wiring, and electrical or hydraulic lines. Benefits of automatic clamping contain the reduction or removal of labour participation for actuation, component proximity detection, and sequenced clamping.

Another fixture layout option involves retrofitting or repurposing a present semi automatic fixture, yet this alternative has to be approached with care. When a robot is put on exactly the identical fixture, any component motion dooms the meeting to the refuse bin. If the fixture is mainly devoted to fillet and lap welds, the fixture may typically be reused, nevertheless outside corner welds and square butt joints frequently need serious improvements to the current fixture to keep repeatability.

In every one of those choices, some further goals have to be considered. As an instance, the fixture ought to be made to function at an ergonomic height and reach and with no need for operator pressure during loading and unloading. Sufficient flashlight visual and accessibility clearance, supplemented by sufficient lighting, should be an accent. Fixture surfaces are ideally made to minimize horizontal surfaces to prevent the group of welding spatter from interfering with crucial discovering surfaces or actuating components.

The target of this integration of this fixture and clamping/finding apparatus would be to guarantee that the weld joint place repeats, in a 3-dimensional space relative to the machine, within +/- half of the diameter of this applied welding cable.

Gap width and location has to be constant from part to part, together with exactly the very same tolerances as the weld joint place. Beyond and minus half of the width of the cable thickness, the weld dimensions could be asked to be raised to offset the smaller weld neck which results. A bigger weld might require 125 – 200 percent more weld alloy than required if appropriate fit-up is preserved.

Obtaining fantastic fit-up is important to controlling prices.

Consider Alternatives if Fixture Design Prices are Prohibitive

There are instances when it’s too expensive to fabricate components to tight tolerances, or reluctant to present a massive manufacturer to a robot fixture, even in thousandths of an inch. Little part runs can also prohibit the use of some fixturing choices. In such scenarios, low-cost applications sensory technologies like Touch Sensing or Through-The-Arc Seam Tracking may be utilized to overcome deficiencies at a fixture or part.

From the use of Touch Sensing, the robot has been designed to get the welding cable to quite a few places on the manufacturer to recognize the part orientation and location. With this info, a master app can be 3-dimensionally altered to match-up together with the brand new part orientation.

Through-the-Arc Seam Tracking is just another alternative which could be allowed when the robot starts welding – the robot crawls around the weld joint and transforms its route according to any joint place change, possibly as a result of distortion or component spring-back, such as.

Other complicated sensing and monitoring methods incorporate laser-based vision methods.


Robotic welding is inexpensive when correctly implemented, but it may be ineffective and invisible when easy fixture layout concerns are overlooked. Many productivity benefits have been attained or misplaced, in the design phase and while components fixturing plays a function that’s easy, it’s crucial to the achievement of a method.

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