AI-Powered Pipe-Welding System Incorporates CobotNovember 1, 2019
Arc Specialties has solved the challenge of creating repeatable full-penetration pipe welds by combining artificial intelligence, advanced sensors, and the six-axis UR5 collaborative robot (cobot) arm from Universal Robots into its new Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding (AIPW) system.
“With the welding industry facing labor shortages, we decided to develop an intelligent machine with complete knowledge of pipe welding, with full motion and welding control,” says Dan Allford, president of Arc Specialties. “The UR5 is small enough to be portable yet still allows full freedom of motion for both the laser scanner and welding torch. Being collaborative, the robot is able to safely work in close proximity to humans.”
In operation, the AIPW pre-scans the root opening (gap) using a 2D laser, then uses the data to generate the robot path and welding parameters. Gap variations are compensated for with changes in oscillation, torch position, travel speed and welding conditions. The UR5 positions the torch over a tack weld to start the arc to ensure 100-percent root-weld acceptance. Fill and cap pass programs are optimized to fill the groove using user selectable weave or stringer bead welding techniques. The AIPW uses the Miller Auto Continuum welding power supply to weld the root with Miller’s Regulated Metal Deposition technology, then switches to pulsed spray for the fill and cap passes. This combination of techniques maximizes welding productivity while producing X-ray-quality, full-penetration pipe welds, according to Arc Specialties officials.
See also: Universal Robots
Technologies: Welding and Joining