Making use of robotic welding torches can help to make your welding process streamlined and also make the production faster and more reliable. However, to make your automated welding more efficient, you require some tools apart from having efficient welders handling the welding process itself. Here are some of the tools that can help to make your robotic welding torch work more efficiently.
Reaming or Cleaning Station
Accuracy and speed are two main requirements when using robotic welding and it is very difficult, not to mention impractical for the operator to clean the torch nozzle after each weld. This is where a reaming station becomes very handy. A reaming station usually comprises three parts – a wire cutter, reamer and anti-spatter applicator. All the spatter from inside the nozzle is removed by the reamer which enables the gas to flow better to produce higher quality welds. The role of the wire cutter is to ensure that the stick out is the same each time so that you get good arc starts and also hit the joint of the weld accurately. The anti-spatter applicator prevents the build-up of spatter on the contact tip and inside the nozzle.
The TCP or Tool Center Point is a vital component of the welding torch and is important for the quality of the weld. The best way to ensure the TCP of the welding torch is by making use of the alignment jig. In the case of a crash, alignment jigs are important in repairing the neck of the torch. In a water-cooled torch, in the case of a crash, an alignment jig can help to bend the swan neck of the torch to the proper TCP.
Air blasts are inexpensive and useful to have in the robotic welding torch. The air blast is a line inside the cable assembly of the torch which can be connected to an air compressor that blows clean air through the gas ports to purge them and remove the spatter or slag during air cuts. You can also make use of the air blast lines to apply anti-spatter spray into the nozzle, tip and diffusor or it can help to blow out any loose debris. The air blast is also useful to keep the contact tip cool between the cycles and this helps to maximise the service life of the tip.
This is a device which is installed on the mount of the robot which tracks the seam of the weld joint and is also responsible for the variations in the fixtures and tooling that guide the robot and the welding torch. If the fit-up is bad, then seam tracking allows the robotic torch to produce a good weld. However, seam tracking is quite an expensive investment and is also not suitable for all industries. However, if your welding operation is an automated one that has long parts or open tooling where even the slightest of errors in fixturing leads to a lot of scrap and rework, in such cases, seam tracking is an excellent tool that can solve these issues.
Gas Control Devices
Gas control devices can help to ensure that the gas flow is proper as there is a specific amount of gas flow that is required at the nozzle of the torch. A gas checker is a great tool to ensure that the gas flow from the torch nozzle to the weld is proper because the inadequate gas flow will result in bad welds. Flow metres are also very important tools that can help to ensure that you are getting the correct gas flow.
You can install orifices at the back of the wire feeder that restricts the sudden surge of gas when the arc starts, which causes higher gas usage. You can also use electronic regulators which are excellent devices to control the gas flow. The greater the amperage, the more is the gas flow to the front of the torch and when the amperage is less, the electronic regulator reduces the flow of gas to prevent porosity. The electronic regulators also help to suppress the surge of gas when the arc starts so that too much of gas is not used while striking an arc.
Designed for repeated usage, robotic welding torches are very efficient and help to speed up the production process significantly. However, without tools that help the robotic torches to help it work in an optimal manner, you may not be able to achieve the best results from your torch. So, it is a good idea to invest in some extra tools that can enhance the operation of your robotic welding torch.