March 24, 2017 | By Tim Heston
A company has introduced a new way for a fabricator to use automation: not by investing in a permanent system, but by hiring them and paying for their use by the hour. The technology behind collaborative robotics is making this possible.
January 4, 2017 | By Bob Rochelle
A robot is only a part of a robot-based automation system, whether the system is for welding or other applications. Regardless of the application, several components and functions are common to all systems. Controls, communication devices, operator interfaces, sensors, peripheral equipment, parts handling equipment, fixtures, safety features, and cable management devices are common components in all systems. Most projects require some personnel involvement as well.
November 21, 2016 | By Eric Lundin
Shopping cart manufacturer Technibilt has been incorporating automation little by little over the last few decades, but recently took a big step when it solicited bids for a transfer system that would bend and punch tube to make shopping cart frames.
November 16, 2016 | By Chris Anderson
Finding good welders is a real issue for some fab shops, but so is the anxiety attached to integrating robotic welding to help fill the gaps. Pinpointing the appropriate skill set for robotic welding programmers is important to ensure you have the right person in place to run the machine. Industry also has stepped up to deliver systems that make robotic programming easier and faster for individuals who have limited programming training.
October 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis
TnL Welding, Sidney, Ohio, is a two-person operation with four robotic cells. Todd Whitt is the welder with the talent for getting automation to work smoothly. Kristen Whitt is getting her B.S. degree in welding technology by learning tips and tricks from her dad.
How many lasers and punch presses do you have? How many press brakes? Determining the best ratio isn’t as straightforward as it once was. It’s a puzzle that must be looked at holistically. The trick is discovering which pieces fit best for your operation.
September 21, 2016 | By Kate Bachman
The SUPERB™ factory in Sugarcreek, Ohio performs surprisingly high-tech operations in a traditional village in Amish country, including stamping components for next-generation power grid storage units for Alevo. To meet the demand to stamp and assemble 100 million battery components, the manufacturer installed automated assembly equipment.
July 20, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson
The Ask Elmer column, written by Hobart Institute of Welding Technology instructor Elmer Swank, appeared in Practical Welding Today for four years. Even though the column no longer exists, Swank is still in the business of answering questions and developing good welders.
July 5, 2016 | By Ryan Lizotte
Installed and used properly, a reamer minimizes spatter and debris, prolongs consumables life, improves weld quality, and keeps a robotic welding cell productive.
April 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Several years ago Groupe Gravel invested in robotic welding and plasma cutting. And from the very start, for most work, technicians never programmed jobs using a teach pendant.
March 21, 2016 | By Ryan Lizotte
A robotic welding cell is a significant investment that improves productivity and weld quality and ultimately reduces costs. These best practices and troubleshooting tips can help you maximize your ROI.
January 19, 2016 | By Tim Tuttle
Setting up for robotic press-to-press transfer systems requires some consideration of distances, bolster height, and stroke length, as well as feed length, die clearance and several other press, tooling and workpiece considerations.
November 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Monitoring machine performance in real time is gaining traction in metal fabrication. MTConnect, a machine communication standard that has made serious headway in the machining arena, now has a toehold in the sheet metal business.
October 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Rapid-Line Inc., a contract manufacturer in Grand Rapids, Mich., has a long history of early technology adoption. Two years ago it became an early adopter again, this time with an entirely different kind of robot. Regardless of the technology, everyone keeps their eye on what truly matters when it comes to manufacturing efficiency: how long it takes for an order to make it to the shipping dock.
September 8, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Ludlow Manufacturing Inc.’s managers are big believers in automation, but they’re not just interested in shortening machine cycle times. They look at the big picture, from the first order to the final shipment.