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15 February 2022

How many parts can be welded in one robotic cell?

The ideal scenario is when you can weld parts 24/7 and easily switch from one to another when necessary. This is how making the most out of your robots looks. So let's discuss how to make it happen.
robotic welding for all industries
With ABAGY robots can weld parts 24/7 and easily switch from one to another when necessary
Why do companies often think that robots can't weld their products? And why are they wrong?
Here are a few examples that companies shared with us. Maybe you will see yourself in one:

1. One-off production
“We make one-offs, no serial production whatsoever.”

2. Pre-production
“Our pre-production is not perfect. There are often minor deviations in pre-assembled products since they are assembled manually. They do meet our production requirements and pass our quality assurance, but they are not suitable for automated welding.”

3. Flexible planning
“We respond to the market: we look at what is in demand need at any given moment. We often get urgent and profitable orders. Robots can't be this flexible, can they?”

In many industries where steel welding is required, products are made in small batches (from the robotics standpoint). Therefore, it is traditionally believed that robots will not work in such industries. However, this is false.
150 types of parts in a single robotic cell? How about more?
Let us share some photos from our customer's production site. The company produces customized non-standard conveyor equipment.

With the help of ABAGY, they weld more than 150 different types of parts at the robotic cell, easily switching from one to another in minutes. The client can weld any products that fit into the working area on one of the tables. To do this, they simply load the 3D model into our software and set the required welding parameters.

Also, we add that the company uses robots without fixtures, saving time and money on jigs. While for robots previously, the customers used fixtures to fix the part in reference points.
In other words, ABAGY makes it easy to produce a large variety of parts within a single cell:
  • Parts can vary in size (within the dimensions of the area);
  • Parts' geometry may differ;
  • You can simultaneously place as many parts as you can fit;
  • No set order of loading parts into the complex (load one in as soon as it's ready for welding);
  • Parts can be laid out on the table any way you deem convenient at a given time (there is no need for precise placement).
When we say "150 parts", it is just an example. Can you do more? Sure. You can do more. You can do fewer. Any number you wish, as long as parts stay within the selected dimensions of the working area. To keep your cell at 24/7 uptime, you only need to have enough suitable parts in production.
Does size matter?
We can work with any part. But we are aware of the limitations of the traditional approach in robotics. We can provide exceptionally high efficiency in welding large-sized parts in non-serial production.

Large Part/ Small-batch

Traditional approach:
successfully executes

Large Part/ Serial production

Traditional approach:
simplifies programming
does the job, requires expensive fixtures

Small Part/ Small-batch

Traditional approach:
successfully executes

Small Part/ Serial production

Traditional approach:
simplifies programming
works great
For convenience, let's agree that a small part is less than 0.5 meters, and a large part is more than 2 meters.
The traditional approach will work great for you if you have serial production. ABAGY can simplify the programming process for you, but since you need minimal programming (you have the same parts), the difference in efficiency will not be significant.

For non-serial production, however, robots are simply not efficient without us.

Why did we pay special attention to the large parts above? Large-sized parts have a unique feature. When dealing with long welds, parts can deform due to long-duration heating. The traditional approach solves this with the help of complex and expensive fixtures.

ABAGY is adaptive and does not require any specific placement of a part. Meaning, ABAGY frees you from using fixtures when welding large-sized parts or makes their use significantly easier. Our software adapts to the placement of a part and the deformation that occurs.

Below is a video from the client site. A bridge structure with about 10-12 meters is freely located in the working area, without fixtures. Heating during the welding can result in deformations of up to 10 centimeters, to which robots equipped with ABAGY easily adapt.
More than 50 different types of parts are welded on one cell per month


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