Robot Welding
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Robot Welding is still the most common application for robotic automation with the automotive OEM's, tier1 and tier2 suppliers being the largest single market segment for this process. However, the application has long since been adopted by general industry, as the technology has become more cost effective.
Robot welding is most commonly associated with MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding or resistance spot welding. However, other methods of robot welding are frequent used, including TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas), Plasma, TIG Filler (TIG Welding with Filler Rod) and Laser Welding. It is estimated that the world wide population of operational industrial robots now exceeds 1,000,000 robots, with over half of that number being used for robot welding.

Robot welding was seriously introduced to industry in the 1970's and since then the number of installations has increased significantly year on year. Robot welding offers so many more benefits over manual welding, i.e. improved takt time, quality, repeatability, access to difficult weld positions, data collection and reductions in health and safety risks.

Market demand and expectations has pushed the major robot manufacturers to continuously develop their robot welding products to new levels of effectiveness even though buying prices have continued to fall. In the last five years the application of more powerful CPU processors and the gradual move from analogue to full digital control has transformed the performance and functionality of robot welding solutions. Offerings such as the Panasonic TAWERS welding robot set the standard for robot welding solutions for the automotive sector and general industry as it offers full integrated digital control of the weld set parameters; wire feed rates and robot motion, sampling the feedback and optimising the settings 50 times per second. This level of control by the Panasonic TAWERS welding robot delivers outstanding deposition rates and fast arc start/finish response times without compromising the integrity and appearance of the weld.

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