Robotics Online - RIA - Robotic Industries Association
Case Studies

ROPS Welding

by Paula Kyle
Acieta, LLC

Problem:

Need for updated system with enhance reliability for welding of components.

Solution:

Design of a turnkey robotic welding system with greatly enhanced reliability for welding of ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) supports for crawler type tractors.  The operator is allowed unlimited access to the inactive positioner for loading/unloading, jogging part for finish welding, etc.  Production is increased due to robot and positioner speeds.  This system featured:

  • Touch sensing and Thru Arc Seam Tracking with coordinate motion for continuous tracking on contoured weldments, acclaimed by many customers to be superior of our competitor's offerings, for weld joint location and tracking.
  • Two fully servo controlled Automated Concepts, Inc. manufactured 3,000 lb. tilt/rotate positioners allowing for coordinated motion of the robot six axis, along with the positioning axis.
  • Model ArcMate 120i six axes articulated robot with RJ-2 controller from Fanuc Robotics with 4 aux axis touch sensing, Torchmate, TAST, coordinated motion, multipass welds.
  • Lincoln PowerWave 450 welding equipment.
  • Binzel torch and trimming stations.
  • Automated Concepts, Inc. tilt/rotate positioners with optional 180 degree indexing base.

Desciption of Process:
The operator loads in a new part for the welding process.  The operator then signals the robot to begin a new cycle.  The welding positioner rotates 90 degrees into robot work envelope.  The robot then performs a touching sensing routine and begins the welding process.  During the welding process, an automated weld curtain extends out to protect the operator from weld flash (the opposite curtain is retracted at the time).  Also during the robotic welding process the operator can utilize the positioner that is not controlled by the robot for additional welding that must be performed manually.  Once all maunual welding is completed, the operator then unloads the finished part and prepares a new part.  After the robotic welding process is complete, the welding positioner returns to a "home position" by rotating 90 degrees out of the robot work envelope.  The retracted flash curtain extends and the extended flash curtain retracts.  The cycle then repeats itself.

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