UR Cobot Performs MIG Welding, Increasing Work Efficiency at Polish Production Plant
01 the short story
The DWD Group is a Polish manufacturer in the construction industry, that implemented Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot to automate the manual TIG welding process with a MIG welding system. The implementation of the cobot resulted in an optimized work environment which enables meeting tight production deadlines despite labor shortages, freeing up employees from hand-welding in noxious fumes.
02 the challenge
The DWD Group consists of companies supplying products for the road and bridge, industrial and private construction sectors. The group's offer, which is based on production adapted to project sales, where each project is individual, includes bridge drainage systems, elements made of stainless steel and aluminum, skylights, smoke dampers, fences and roofs. For some time now, the company's challenge has been to find qualified welders who can perform the necessary welds in tight deadlines with maintaining high welds quality.
The previous production process required the welding of many aluminum joints and it was 100% manual. The pre-cut profiles were sent to the welding section where specialized workers arranged them and then TIG welded them. The welded elements were characterized by significant sizes and moving them around the plant was not easy. Moreover, after completion of a given step, the components usually had to wait for further processing. With such an organization of work, the welding sector was often the plant’s “bottleneck” making it difficult to meet the expected deadlines in the construction industry.
Video — DWD Group, Poland
03 the solution
Difficulties in finding workforce accelerated the decision to partially automate the welding process. Taking into account the complexity of the process as well as specific and often low-volume joints, the DWD Group has decided to use a turnkey welding system developed by the Danish company RO-Buddy. The solution was created with the Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot, integrated with a high-class welding machine and a welding table.
UR10e performs welding of aluminum joints with the MIG method
UR10e helps in meeting tight production deadlines despite labor shortages
Thanks to the ease of use, in half a day employees without previous experience learned to program all the details themselves
The DWD Group deploys a ready-made RO-Buddy solution with the UR10e cobot integrated with a high-class welding machine
Even in its basic version, the UR10e robot is extremely intuitive to program. In the RO-Buddy welding system, this advantage was used and expanded in the software overlay on the URCaps platform. URCaps is a software handshake between the welding equipment and the UR cobot enabling direct programming and operation of the entire system directly through the UR cobot’s teach pendant. Based on the experience of a large number of previous users, this versatile UR cobot was transformed into a specialized welding robot. All relevant welding parameters can be selected on the cobot's teach pendant, and the programming of torch movements is intuitive and quick, enabling the user to manually teach the robotic arm the required positions. At the same time, the solution has been created in such a way that, if necessary, the cobot can be easily detached from the welding machine and used for other applications.
Thanks to the simple programming, operators could quickly and easily learn how to use the cobot, even if they had no previous programming experience. An additional simplification was introduced by the company's engineers: they added five buttons on which the operator selects the appropriate programs for the five most common welds.
Before deciding on the RO-Buddy solution, the representatives of DWD Group participated in a demonstration organized by Jorgensen EasyTech, a distributor of Universal Robots and the RO-Buddy system. Guided by welding specialists, the company had the opportunity to program the cobot and weld exemplary details. “The ease of programming the cobot and the quality of the weld were what convinced us opt for the UR10e with RO-Buddy solution,” adds Robert Mróz.
For robot welding, DWD Group’s engineers chose the MIG method. When programming the robot, it is possible to set all parameters and advanced functions for each section of a given weld. In this way, the high-class MIGomat (semi-automatic welding machine) in combination with the UR10e is a more efficient and faster alternative to the TIG method, ensuring strong and aesthetic joints.
Because of the investment in a robotic welding system, the DWD Group has achieved a much better organization of production and has ensured a high quality of welding for years, regardless of the availability of highly qualified welders. "We believe that the investment in cobot will pay off very quickly," says Robert Mróz. "We are already seeing many benefits, including accelerating the process, and improved repeatability while maintaining the highest quality of the joints.”
UR Cobot models:
- Intuitive operation
- Ease of programming
- Enabling the creation of multiple welding profiles
- Acceleration of the welding process
- Improving the quality of the weld
- Increasing the repeatability of the finished product
- Simplification of the process
- Relieving employees from strenuous work
- Eliminating the need for robotic specialists in the plant
- Welding application
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Cost-effective, safe and flexible collaborative robots - or cobots- are making automation easier than ever, even for the small and mid-sized companies.