As a full-service metal fabrication shop, EVS Metal offers a number of manufacturing solutions in-house, one of which is welding. We offer both manual, operator-driven welding, and robotic welding of aluminum and steel; however, for the next several weeks, we will focus on the robotic part of our operation, because automation is truly one of the most important factors impacting the future of manufacturing overall.
Let’s start with the history of robotic welding. Although it’s been used now for more than 60 years, robotic welding is still considered to be a fairly new way of utilizing this type of automation. However, the use of robots in this manner did not reach its true zenith until the 80s, mainly due to its use on a massive scale by automakers on their assembly lines. Once robots were proven to be a cost-effective and efficient way to weld by Detroit and their counterparts overseas, their use became widespread. And as more applications are discovered, robotic welding only continues to grow; in fact, according to a Robotics Industry News (RIN) report, a total of 31,464 robots were ordered from North America in 2015, a 14% increase over 2014. The automotive sector continues to lead in this area, but there is steady growth in other areas as well, in particular semiconductors and electronics.
So what exactly is robotic welding? The simple answer is that it’s exactly what it sounds like — the use of programmable robots to automate the welding process. However, once you get past the basics, robotic welding quickly becomes much more complex than it may at first seem. For instance, some welding processes, such as gas metal arc welding, may appear to be a form of robotic welding, but as an operator is often needed to handle the part being welded, it cannot truly be considered automated. For a process to fall into the category of robotic welding, both the item to be welded and the welding gun itself must be handled by the robot.
Come back next week when we’ll continue our discussion about robotic welding, including types of robots used and the different subcategories of welding that are possible via this type of automation.
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. We utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. Our four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from welding robots and laser cutting solutions to automated powder coating lines. We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online, or call (973) 839-4432 to speak with a specialist today.