Cobot Welder Delivers 10x Production Boost

DeAngelo Marine Exhaust

In Short

DeAngelo Marine Exhaust had nearly given up automating complex, manual TIG welds until the company came across Hirebotics’ Cobot Welder. The Florida manufacturer of exhaust parts has now been able to increase weld speed tenfold, lower lead times, and improve quality using its new cobot colleague, which also helped DeAngelo break into new markets.

The business transformation

65 days. That’s how far behind DeAngelo Marine Exhaust was on lead times at its worst point. Based in the heart of ‘the yachting capital of the world’ in Fort Lauderdale, FL, DeAngelo is a synonym for aircraft quality welds on marine engine exhaust parts. But demand exceeded the capacity of the company’s labor-intensive production. CEO Justin Montes had no luck hiring more manual welders and was left to face his own worst nightmare: letting down the finest boat builders, naval architects and engine companies in the world by delivering too late.

Montes heard about ‘these cobots’ coming out and started sending out parts to seven of the big robotic welding companies to see if they could do a demo weld. The results were underwhelming. “They were all struggling to match our quality. When I contacted Universal Robots (UR), I was already three months into this and had almost given up,” says the CEO. UR referred Montes to welding partner Hirebotics, a company that has incorporated UR’s collaborative robots into the “The Cobot Welder”; A complete solution that includes the UR10e cobot arm equipped with a welding torch, the Beacon app for teaching, a trusted welding power source, and a versatile welding table to perform high-quality welds on a variety of workpieces.

Hirebotics quickly returned photos of DeAngelo’s parts perfectly welded up with no gaps. Montes visited Hirebotics to see it first-hand as he initially didn’t belive it. When he got there, he was able to teach and run the Cobot Welder in just 20 minutes with no prior robotics experience. “I was running parts like I’ve been running robots my whole life. After that, I gave them a purchase order. And that’s when the fun started,” Montes says.

DeAngelo Marine Exhaust

Industry Metal and Machining
Country USA
Number of Employees 60
Cobot used UR10e
Watch how the Cobot Welder transformed DeAngelo Marine Exhaust.

How they did it

From 2 to 20 inches per minute.

The Cobot Welder has quickly enabled the company to catch up on lead times and reduce defect rates. “We went from being eight weeks over capacity back to baseline in a matter of days,” says Montes. He attributes this accomplishment to the speed of the cobot that MIG welds 20 inches per minute compared to the 2-5 inches per minute when TIG welded manually.

Watch how employees with no prior robotics experience quickly taught the Cobot Welder – an intuitive process that won over some of their more skeptical colleagues.

ROI: one order paid off the cobot.

The day the Cobot Welder hit the floor at DeAngelo, the company received a large order from the Coast Guard.

The parts were 12 inches in diameter, requiring a circular weld five times. “Perfect fit for the cobot,” Montes says, beaming.

Emphasizing the ability to dial the cobot in to do full penetration welds: “This was a very big concern for us. A leak could literally sink a $100 million yacht. But we have found no leaks on welds by the cobot.”

“We went from months to just days turning that order around. With the departmental overtime and everything, that first order paid off my cobot.” The CEO explains how he was also able to shift large portions of the welding work from fabricators, the highest-paid employees in the shop, to the machine operators that now operate the cobot.

Jumping from welding two to 20 inches per minute has also enabled DeAngelo to break into new ‘first fit’ OEM markets, successfully competing with manufacturers in India.

Once the operators started toying with the settings, we realized we could get the welds to look however we wanted them to: fat welds, skinny welds, butt joints, lap joints—we are even building fixtures to do seam welding,

Justin Montes - President, CEO & Owner - DeAngelo Marine Exhaust
No programming knowledge required

No programming knowledge required

Nobody at DeAngelo Marine Exhaust had any experience with robotics programming before the arrival of the Cobot Welder. “We still have World War II machines running every day on our production floor. So just the thought of a “ROBOT” would be enough to send some of our folks to a therapist,” says CEO Justin Montes. “But the ease of use is truly remarkable. Within 20 minutes of uncrating our cobot, we were running parts.”



Troubleshooting with Hirebotics is instantaneous through the Cobot Welder’s Beacon app, which also allows operators to take pictures and submit directly through the support chat. “Our production manager is an old dog who did not want to learn any new tricks,” says De Angelo Marine Exhaust’s CEO Justin Montes. “We took a picture, sent it to the chat, received a response and it worked. It blew him away.”

Hirebotics' Cobot Welder
Winning over Welders

Winning over Welders

When the Cobot Welder first arrived at DeAngelo, not everybody shared Montes’ enthusiasm, many of the fabricators were very skeptical. But that quickly changed. “The same people that were afraid of the cobot, they are now calling me on the weekends, suggesting new parts to run on the cobot,” says Montes. “You could see their brains just explode; now everybody’s embracing it. It’s been a big morale booster for our work culture.”

Production manager Camilo Aguilar (left) and CEO Justin Montes, DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, watch how Hirebotics’ Cobot Welder MIG welds at 20 inches per minute, a 10x boost in production compared to manual TIG welding.
Production manager Camilo Aguilar (left) and CEO Justin Montes, DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, watch how Hirebotics’ Cobot Welder MIG welds at 20 inches per minute, a 10x boost in production compared to manual TIG welding.

Easy programming through app-based interface.

As Montes put it, there was ‘no more writing 10-page programs in G-code or yearlong learning curves.’ Instead, operators ‘teach’ the robot by simply grabbing the robot arm and moving it through the desired weld trajectory,

The Cobot Welder’s Beacon app provides production data in real time.

The Cobot Welder’s Beacon app provides production data in real time.

Adding way points in Beacon, the Cobot Welder’s app-based interface that runs on any handheld device or tablet. “If you want to weld a circle, press circle, click three points—it knows that it needs to weld a circle along those three points. You want to do a line? Two points, it’s that easy,” explains Montes, who is working on fixtures that will enable the Cobot Welder to weld 25-50 products in the same cycle.

Easy teaching with The Cobot Welder’s Beacon app

Easy teaching with The Cobot Welder’s Beacon app

Production manager at DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, Camilo Aguilar (right), shows the operator how to ‘teach’ the Cobot Welder. “The operators pick it up quickly when they realize how much easier and faster their job becomes,” says Aguilar who calls the Cobot Welder ‘My Baby.’

DeAngelo Marine Exhaust of Fort Lauderdale, FL, occupies over 30,000 sq. feet of manufacturing and engineering facilities suited to state-of-the-art marine exhaust systems and diesel particulate filter systems (DPF) production, service and repair.Stan Sherwin is an accomplished TIG welder at DeAngelo Marine Exhaust. He has a large Instagram following @ss­ custom__welding where he shares posts of his welds. “I’ve done a few comparisons of my weld versus the robot weld, and it’s been getting a lot of great feedback,” he says.Production manager Camilo Aguilar (left) and CEO Justin Montes at DeAngelo Marine Exhaust discuss the roll-out of more Cobot Welders on the shop floor. The goal is to have a cobot on each of their seven fabrication tables.

Automation challenges solved:

  • Low-volume, high-mix manufacturing of labor-intensive, manual tig welds
  • Ability to lower lead times
  • Fabricators freed up to focus on more complex welds

Key value drivers:

  • 10x increase in weld productivity with the cobot welder; from 2 to 20 inches per minute
  • Employees empowered to improve quality and output, even with minimal robotics experience
  • Easy-to-use app-based welding interface
  • The cobot welder paid for itself after handling one order

Tasks solved by collaborative robots:

  • Mig welding of exhaust parts for the marine industry

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