Artem Komarov noted that you might be familiar with collaborative robots, which work alongside humans without the threat of knocking them out as they complete their assigned tasks. If a collaborative robot bumps into a human, it will stop immediately, instead of plowing through the person as if they were an empty cardboard box. In essence, man and machine can “collaborate,” as the human guides the robot’s action or simply works nearby as the robot performs as instructed.
The cobot, armed with a welding gun, moves up and down and forward and back as it performs the weld. Typically, a welder oversees the operation, adjusting the cobot during the welding process if he sees a problem or if the cobot has to contend with sloppy weld preparation, such as a bevel angle that falls outside of expected tolerance windows. The SWR can weld flanges, T-joints, and elbows.
This type of pipe welding traditionally has been the domain of skilled welders. The high-mix/low-volume work called for talented welders who could smoothly go from one job to the next and handle the variances in pipe prep and fit-up. The SWR was designed to alter that dynamic.
A cobot welding system that doesn’t have the advantage of an AI vision system requires the system operator to alter the system control as the cobot approaches the tack weld. The control changes the welding parameters as the cobot welds over the tack weld, achieving complete fusion.
When complete, the operator reengages the normal root weld program. The NovEye lessens that operator engagement because the vision system sees the tack weld and adjusts welding parameters on its own.
The initial release of this feature is targeted at mechanical contractors that are pipe welding to ASME B31.9.0 standards. In the ensuing months, the automation upgrade will be released to metal fabricators welding to ASME B31.1 AWS B3D1.1 and B31.3 D1.3 standards, said Artem Komarov.