Robotics has helped manufacturers to increase productivity. Robots can perform complex tasks that require accuracy and repeatability. Today’s trends are towards harnessing new technologies, for example using smartphone interfaces to enable customers to monitor their… More
Robotic welding automation using 3D printing
Even though companies have the idea that robots are difficult to program, they soon learn that robots are easier to program and that in the long run, it’s easier to train someone to operate the robot than teaching somebody to weld. Now, however, a team of students at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands has taken another approach – they’ve created the world’s first stainless steel bike made via a welding-based 3D-printing technique.The students want to demonstrate the potential of the robot welding technology.
Programming a robot involves teach and play back by driving the robot from point to point from the teach pendant or controller, using either plus or minus keys or a joystick. The operator doesn’t need to memorize any code. It will also support the human health, safety, and employment costs.
The investment in just one robotic cell in robotic welding system could take over a higher percentage of the total welding output, therefore a greater return on investment.
Why to invest in Robotic Welding Systems?
Robotic welding systems is no longer just for large manufacturers; it also offers benefits for small enterprises. Robotic welding is an automated process that improves productivity and weld consistency to lower costs for production, labour, materials and it also helps companies gain a competitive advantage over those businesses that have not made the transition to automated robotic welding.
The decision to adopt robotic welding systems is getting easier every day because the lack of skilled welders available to fulfil the requirements of large and small companies. They can also gain greater flexibility through adding automation. Particularly SEMs are beginning to make the investment on this technology and realizing positive results.
There are some key considerations to make before adding robotic welding systems in your company. It is important to ensure that the parts to be welded are appropriate to an automated welding process, selecting the right system, physical space and training welding operators properly are just a few factors that can help companies gain the best in efficiency and maximise on the return on investment.
Benefits of robotic welding systems
- Robotic welding systems offer consistency and repeatability of the welds produced. A robotic welder is more consistent and can move from one weld to the next quickly, speeding up the entire process.
- Significant improvements in productivity and finished part quality
- Lower production costs by reducing labour requirements. You can have a good welder supervising the work of several automated cells instead of having to find and train a lot of welders for the job.
- Consistent cycle times, no break in production, and better weld allowing for less weld spattering and less post-weld clean-up
- Reduce the time and money spent on rework. Lower production costs by reducing waste materials.
- Robotic welding systems can tolerate much harsher work environments
The composite material is made by combining two or more materials, some of these materials used are fiberglass, carbon fibres or carbon nanotubes. Composites made with carbon fibres are lighter and stronger than fiberglass but more expensive to produce. Carbon nanotubes are even lighter and stronger than composites made with carbon fibres but they are still extremely expensive. It has been used for making lighter cars and aircraft structures.
Robotic automation has been implemented in the composite manufacturing processes, it demands extensive experience allied with a deep understanding of the subject.
What can robotics bring to the table in the Composite manufacturing process?
- Robots are able to handle fabric sheets, lifting and placing them into a mould.
- Composite drilling and trimming of the completed structure.
- Loading and unloading the cured product.
- Material removal including grinding and sanding
- Spraying paints, varnishes and other coatings
Where do you find composite technology:
- Automotive – Chasses and components
- Communications – Satellite antennas
- Aerospace & Defense – Aircraft interiors, flooring, cargo liners
- Alternative Energy – Wind turbine blades
- Sports Equipment – Helmets, boat hull components
- Consumer Goods – Medical device components, seatbacks
The Composite bonding and finishing processes are inevitably repetitive, dull and the environment along with the materials used potentially hazardous. The Implementation of robotic systems for these operations protects workers whilst also greatly improving quality and consistency of product.
The new Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner, makes use of modern composites in its design. More than 20 % of the A380 is made of composite materials, mainly plastic reinforced with carbon fibres. The design is the first large-scale use of glass-fibre-reinforced aluminium, a new composite that is 25 % stronger than conventional airframe aluminium but 20 % lighter.
Phoenix Control is present in all industries helping our customers to get the most out of their business. We contribute and support our customers with our highly experienced staff in Control Systems and robotic automation. The main advantage of modern composite materials is that they are lighter and stronger than others materials.
Contact Us to help you in your own project or we can put in direct contact with one of our client if you want to know more about composite materials. Our customer’s success is our success.
Global sales of industrial robots rose significantly and it expected to double to 400,000 a year by 2018. Industrial robot pricing will continue to decline over the next decade by more than 20 percent
Robotic Trimming refers to the process of removing excess material from a part that has been fabricated for example removing the flashing from a part that has been removed from a thermoforming process.
Industrial robots are both flexible and precise while maintaining consistency and accuracy. However, the biggest advantage of using robots for trimming is the ability to overcome a skills shortage. Using robotic trimming enables you to speed up your production cycle and to deliver a high-quality product.
We always read that industrial robot improves Productivity, Safety, Quality and Cost Competitiveness, if this holds true, the return of investment is the first roadblock keeping many manufacturers from moving forward with robotic systems.
In fact, we will be answering the following question in our series of articles titled: How to calculate the time before your investment is completely paid off due to the savings difference that has accumulated from your robotic production improvements?
Take your time to find a System Integrator that not only understands the requirements of your trimming applications but also that provides you with a complete automation solution starting with the robot itself to the commissioning of the full system integration.
We would like to help our customers to take the right decision. Do not miss our next article.
Once you’ve decided it’s time to buy a robot, there are three main robotic systems components to consider to start. However, whether you get to robotic automation or not, you need to do something to stay competitive or or somebody else will take your place. Take your time in finding an integrator that knows industrial automation and robotic system.
As the digital economy continues most businesses realize they need to keep their company agile and flexible. Adding robotic systems is a great way to accomplish this, as it’s fairly simple to change the robot’s settings to do what you need it to do and remember that you want to overestimate your needs to allow for future expansion and changes in production. See also robotic welding.
Every robot has a computer, which keeps the pieces of the arm working together. This computer is known as the controller. The controller functions as the “brain” of the robot. The controller also allows the robot to be networked to other systems, so that it may work together with other machines, processes, or robots.
Robots have controllers that are run by programs – sets of instructions written in code. Almost all robots of today are entirely pre-programmed by people; they can do only what they are programmed to do at the time, and nothing else. In the future, controllers with artificial intelligence could allow robots to think on their own, even program themselves. This could make robots more self-reliant and independent, but the the true is that all robotic systems have to be programmed to do the work.
Many robots resemble human arms, and have shoulders, elbows, wrists, even fingers. This gives a robot lots of options for moving, and helps it do things in place of a human arm.
In order to reach any possible point in space within its work envelope, a robot needs a total of 6 degrees of freedom. Each direction a joint can go gives an arm 1 degree. As a result, many robots of today are designed to move in at least 6 ways.
Teach pendants are typically handheld devices and may be wired or wireless. A Teach Pendant is used to program various models of the robotic industrial machinery the company makes.
What else do you need to know? See our next post.
Robot milling involves adding the flexibility to replace a traditional CNC machine
A robot milling can now replace a machine tool in certain applications, bringing a high level of flexibility to use different tools in the 3D space that changes the way processes and component design are viewed.
Robots Milling are capable of producing the highest quality complex and unusual geometries parts. Robots Milling can process a variety of different materials from alloys to plastics and from foams to timber. Any object of any size or shape can be milled by just adjusting the robot programming and end-of-arm-tooling.
Industrial robots are used in a great variety of applications for handling, welding, assembling and robot milling operations. Especially for machining operations industrial robots represent a cost-saving and flexible alternative compared to standard machine tools. With the knowledge of interaction along the milling path a general model-based path correction strategy is presented to significantly improve accuracy in milling operations.
Robot milling can switch tasks by adding another tool to perform other finishes and options for many tasks on various materials, such as cutting, welding or deburing injection molds. The robot’s working area can be expanded by using simultaneous or indexed external linear or rotary axes to save lots of time through faster turnaround cycles to the finished component.
Why working with a robot milling?
Robot milling is an unusual thing. Robots are largely used in the automotive industry, where they usually do a single routine, a so-called job. Each robot executes a single job geometrically following a set of 3D-Curves (circular or linear interpolations or PTP (Point to Point) movements), programmed once to do the same operation for the whole life cycle.
Robot milling means to program prototypical tasks for different jobs and therefore is a fairly new application for robots and not widely used. Programming is still a big challenge because the robot’s programming software does not support automatically programming of multiple tasks and spline-geometry. (Click in our partner page High Gain Technology for more high speed Spindles information)
With using CAM software (Click in our partner page Mastercam for more CAM/CAD software information), we have the advantage that we can use the CAM-strategy of contour milling, the end mill can follow the splines according to the surface normal. Compared to portal milling machines, robot milling is advantageous in several aspects:
- Increase Flexibility – Robotic milling greatly increases the flexibility of milling compared to traditional machining centres.
- Lower Cost – Robotic milling can be cheaper than CNC. Larger work piece volumes can be milled for a fraction of the cost of a large CNC machine
- Through the flexibility in workspace the robot supports undercuts and can work from all directions.
- A further advantage is the (non-cubic) workspace. In contrary to portal milling machines, a robot does not operate within a fixed frame. Flexibility in workspace is increased according to object dimensions.
- A further advantage is calibration and self-reference of the robot: the robot can reference its own position to the model.
- Generally, should be noted, that an industrial robot as a numerically controlled (CNC) machine allows various applications. In the field of architecture, an industrial robot could be applied to additive fabrication/3-D-printing as well as for milling or drafting.
Phoenix Control Systems with Phoenix Robotics’ division, provide you with the time, talents, and technology required to guide thorough the robot milling tasks that you require to optimize your automation process and to turn a plan into a completed project. But no matter how skilled we may be at designing, implementing, and testing industrial automation systems, we as robot integrator can do nothing of value until we know what our clients’ needs are.
Robot system integration can benefit a business and its staff, see below:
- Increased productivity while maintaining quality.
- Significant Savings- Offering quick returns on investment via increases in productivity and efficiency.
- Improved Quality by providing consistent, repeatable results.
- Safety – Industrial automation effectively improves workplace safety and protects workers from injury.
- Robotic system Integration can endure extreme environments and work around hazardous substances.
- Competitive Edge. In order to survive and thrive in today’s volatile global economy, businesses must remain competitive.
The automation of the fourth industrial revolution is accelerating: By 2018, around 1.3 million industrial robots will be entering service in factories around the world according to the survey from IFR International Federation of Robotics.
The robot industry itself generates 170,000 to 190,000 jobs worldwide, including the support staff and operators, another similar number of people. There are three other types of application where robotics creates or preserve jobs. When robots can do the the job?
- When the product require satisfactory precision, consistency and cost, without Robotics.
- Where the current work conditions are unsatisfactory, but where a robot will operate.
- Where a high labour costs is threatened by a unit in a low labour cost area.
Phoenix Control Systems with Phoenix Robotics’ division, provide you with the time, talents, and technology required to guide thorough the robot systems integration tasks that you require to optimize your automation process and to turn a plan into a completed project.
Robot service is the next generation that will be used in industry, but some may probably become “Consumer products”. This implies major new manufacturing activity. As quantities will be large, and precision and consistency are critical, this new manufacturing is going to need robotics. Alongside this is the employment of a whole new workforce.
Collaborative robots are a hot topic – and product – in manufacturing today. New collaborative robots by Universal Robots, Rethink Robotics, KUKA and ABB are hitting the marketplace and bringing robotics – and jobs – to new, smaller shops and factories. (see photos)
See comments from the the expert in this industry:
“Today there are more opportunities than ever before in the robotics industry,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. “The continuing growth in robotics is opening many new job opportunities for people who can program, install, run, and maintain robots. In fact, if you look closer at the jobs discussion, automation is helping to save and create jobs. A lot of companies tell us they wouldn’t be in business without robotics and related automation.
“The robotic boom is laying down an important milestone in the realisation of the fourth industrial revolution”, says Joe Gemma, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “With their digital interfaces, industrial robots can be seamlessly integrated into the networked structures of smart factories. This is a benefit exploited by highly automated economies and by countries adopting a new industrial focus. Further impetus is coming into the form of the technological breakthrough in human-robot collaboration: Robotic workers will in future be found working hand-in-hand with human staff, helping to replace traditional, rigid production processes with flexible structures.”
Dear followers, clients and colleges
Phoenix Control Systems with the Phoenix Robotic division earn our keep by solving our client’s automation problems. For this reason, we had created this blog to update you with the latest technology and to help you resolve any issue.
We provide the time, talents, and technology required to turn a plan into a completed project. But no matter how skilled we may be at designing, implementing, and testing industrial automation systems, we as robot integrator can do nothing of value until we know what our clients expect.
Take your time in finding a company that knows industrial control systems and robotic automation.
Feel free to comment on our blog or let us know what subject would like to read about or if you prefer, you can go to our “Contact Us” page in our website www.phoenixrobotic.co.uk or www. phoenixrobotic.com and we will more than happy to answer your question.