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First cobot-based spot welder is ‘the future of spot welding’

12 May, 2023

A Californian welding specialist has developed what it claims is the world’s first cobot-based spot welder. Pro Spot International says that its i5s resistance spot welder will deliver up to three times more manufacturing capacity than manual welding.

While other welding technologies such as MIG welding are already popular applications for cobots (collaborative robots), spot welding has until now been prohibitive because of the weight of the welding gun and the complexity of the welds. The new system uses a specially developed lightweight welding gun fitted to a Universal Robots cobot arm.

The “next generation” automated welding technology senses material thicknesses and resistance, and adjusts its weld profiles automatically. It also captures data about each weld that can be used for quality control, traceability and job repeatability. Pro Spot also claims that it is the only spot welder with Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing instant updates, data exports and the ability to email welding logs for performance reporting.

The system is said to:
● keep the welding process predictable and under control;
● increase production output, while reducing the need for labour and saving technician time;
● future-proof investments by allowing wireless updates; and to
● improve worker safety and reduce liability risks.

“Our i5s resistance spot welder is, by far, the most advanced welder we’ve ever made,” says Pro Spot’s founder and president, Ron Olsson. “As a result, it makes the entire welding process extremely easy and reliable. Combining that level of technology with a safe, easy-to-program and use automated solution like the Universal Robots’ platform is truly the future of spot welding.”

“We’ve married the most sophisticated spot welder in the world with the most sophisticated cobot technology to deliver a solution for industrial spot welding that increases productivity, safety, consistency and job reliability,” adds Pro Spot Automation’s chief engineer, Bob Hamilton. “It’s the forefront of tomorrow, right here today.”

Pro Spot’s cobot welder is making its debut at this month’s Automate trade show in Michigan, where there will be various other innovations based on UR cobots. These include:

● a rotational positioner from THG Automation, that allows workpieces to be presented to a robot in an optimal orientation for welding circular or odd-shaped parts;

● the “first” digital twin system from the Norwegian firm Rocketfarm called for palletising with UR cobots, allowing systems integrators to verify projects rapidly on-site;

● a new operator interface from Robot27 that allows operators to access and run pre-programmed robot programs and functions without a UR teach pendant. Machine operators can execute tasks with a few clicks and with no possibility of altering any programming.

● a mobile palletising system from Columbia/Okura which is powered by the UR10e cobot. The system, called miniPal, has a 11 x 13 feet (3.3 x 4m) footprint, and can palletise at two locations. It includes three area safety scanners that can detect humans in the vicinity, allowing the miniPal to operate at top speed when there is nobody nearby.

Pro Spot says that its cobot-based system is is “truly the future of spot welding”

● a modular turnkey automation work cell from Reliabotics for tasks such as surface deburring and finishing, assembly and test, pick-and-place, dispensing and bonding, and vision inspection. At Automate, the system, called RoboRoom, is being showcased with an inverted UR5e cobot performing metal deburring using ATI tools and Reliabotics’ own recycled CO2 surface-cleaning technology.

Universal Robots:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

Pro SpotTwitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

THG AutomationTwitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

Rocketfarm:  LinkedIn  Facebook

Columbia/Okura:  LinkedIn  Facebook


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