August 3, 2012 | By Dan Davis
Structural steel fabricators now realize what their sheet metal counterparts have known for several years: It doesn't make sense to pay people for the non-value-added activity of handling beams. That's why these shops are investigating automated material handling, but before they do that, they need to answer some important questions.
May 25, 2012 | By Andrew Glaser
Implementing robotics can prove to be beneficial, but you can’t expect to achieve your desired productivity results if you don’t know how products flow to and from that cell. In other words, simply throwing a robot onto the shop floor is not the answer. Before you make the commitment to robotics, it’s important to analyze your process flow and adopt methods that will help reduce waste from the manual process.
May 22, 2012 | By Jim Berge
Having difficulty aligning your offline programs with your real-world robot? Then you’ll want to read this article that discusses ways to overcome this problem, along with other offline programming uses that can help you get the most from your robots.
April 9, 2012 | By Jim Berge
Offline programming has come of age. Fully taking advantage of all this technology has to offer can help you minimize downtime, increase robot productivity, boost quality, and improve your overall operation.
March 9, 2012 | By Andrew Swary
Offline programming and simulation can help fabricators of all sizes to program parts quickly and more consistently, become more competitive through improved and accurate costing, and provide operational flexibility.
February 28, 2012 | By Dan Davis
Siemens Industry Automation Division, West Chicago, Ill., is now living up to its own name in a big way. The organization is better able to execute its build-to-order thanks to a multimillion dollar investment in an automated material storage and retrieval system with bending, punch, and laser/punch combination machines attached to it.
February 28, 2012 | By Tim Heston
An Alabama contract fabricator uses innovative robotic weld fixtures and an unusual quick-change system that allows operators to switch out jobs in mere seconds. The innovations have been critical for the shop’s high-mix, low-volume work.
January 10, 2012 | By Eric Lundin
Need help dealing with the skilled worker shortage? Eric Lundin, editor of TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal, interviewed several automated equipment manufacturers for their perspectives on automation for tube and pipe fabrication.
October 20, 2011 | By Mark Oxlade
Automated welding of heavy fabrications presents a whole new challenge when compared to robotic welding of thin-gauge components. The weldments, of course, are much larger. The joints in these types of fabrications are deeper and require multiple passes of the welding torch. The fabrications are likely to absorb more heat because of those multiple passes. Luckily, robotic sensors and advanced computing power can take some of this complexity out of the process.
July 11, 2011 | By Robert Ryan, P. Eng., MBA
If conditions are right, automating your welding operation can improve quality and productivity. Careful consideration of various factors can help you determine if automation is appropriate for your application.
March 14, 2011 | By Amanda Carlson
A manufacturer of healthcare products automated the material handling and welding of a popular line of medical tables.
February 2, 2011
Editor's Note: This question-and-answer article probes new automation technology with Enrique Pano, ABB Robotics press automation manager.Q: What automated material handling challenges do stampers currently face?A: Stampers have always been pressured to improve material handling while reducing...
November 1, 2010 | By Mike Pellecchia
Automating metal fabrication requires more than just high-speed processing. The actual equipment—the brawn—is only half the equation. The other half is the software—the brains of shop automation.
October 4, 2010
When mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus, Houston, Pa., redesigned its line pans for coal removal, it increased the size and thickness of the equipment. The redesign provided the perfect opportunity to move to an automated welding cell to keep up with the additional 150 lbs. of filler metal that would have to be added to each line pan.
August 4, 2010 | By Mike Jacobsen
Looking at labor savings is only one factor to consider if a fabricator is going to prepare a formal cost justification case for a robotic welding cell.