Robotic Weld Cells
Ellison Technologies AutomationPosted 06/01/2011
Decades of highly complex manual welding, in a maze of difficult weld-joint designs: an impossible candidate for profitable welding automation?
The innovative Ellison Technologies Automation solution is a welding tour-de-force that includes two FANUC Robotics M710iCL20 robots with options, a servo RTU with dual platforms each carrying welding systems and a pair of 1,000 lb wires in two diameters along with robot booms to place the robots over the rotational centerline of the assembly and headstock/tailstock. Two Lincoln Electric PowerWave 655M power supplies each energize their pair of wire-drives feeding two diameters into industry’s first use of Binzel’s dual-wire single-arc WH water cooled torches, while dual headstocks with slide-mounted tailstocks provide a pair of separate workstations that are both fixtured for 8, 12, 16 and 20 cylinder engine assemblies. Welding expertise is further reflected in tuned, patented Gas Control systems that optimize multiple gas-flow rates for maximum resistance to porosity, while permanently securing the lowest gas-usage costs.
Primary System Components Provided by Ellison Technologies Automation
- Two FANUC Robotics M-710iC/20L
- Servo RTU rail platforms with Booms
- Dual wire drives for 2 wire diameters
- Single-arc Dual-diameter Torches
- 5-Neck Automatic Torch Changers
- Headstocks/Tailstocks and Tooling
- Weld Development & Robot Programming
- Safety System
- System Controls
- Full System Documentation
Operational Process Excellence
- The operator loads a tack-welded assembly into the headstock/ tailstock tooling that has moved to the correct length for that weldment.
- The operator exits that headstock/tailstock work area and activates the automation cycle, which begins operation when the current robot tasks are complete.
- The robot approaches the weldment and precisely locates the weld joints for the first phase of the welding process using touch sensing, then begins welding joints up to 12 passes using through-arc seam tracking. Automatic torch-neck changing gives optimum torch access for each joint design, while also allowing use of the optimum wire diameter.
- When manual intervention is required to inspect or to add components after robotic welding, the robots will return to a safe position and either move to the opposite headstock/tailstock if ready for processing, or wait for the next phase of the automated process on the current headstock/tailstock.
- When all phases are completed the robots will move to a safe location for removal of the weldment.
Real Results – Real World – Real Profitable
Weld quality exceeds all previous manual welding results, and cycle times are roughly 20% of previous manual welding.