Can small welding shops benefit from automation?

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When applied appropriately, welding shop automation can help give your small welding and fabrication shop a competitive edge.

When choosing the best equipment, and providing the training needed to operating a welding machine there is some learning curve but putting those aside will help you be more efficient and gain more in the long run.

What are the benefits of welding shop automation?

When you automate your welding shop your final product becomes more consistent and repeatable. This may mean better quality, and if you can provide a better quality product at a similar price it means better reputation and long term sustainability. As a bonus you spend less time on rework. As an added bonus, these automated welding machines may lower your manufacturing costs by reducing man hours and waste. For instance, an automated welding machine can burn the same amount of filler every pass with little to no overuse thus eliminating over use of materials and lowering the long term operating costs of your business.

Such advantages translate to a lot of benefits in both big and tiny stores. However, one autonomous welding machine expense in a smaller store might have a larger impact by having a more significant amount of the work being automated. This means less labor costs and a possibly higher return on investment (ROI).

Likewise, while bigger businesses may have more resources to when it comes to implementing the machines welding automation, even smaller stores could possibly gain increased flexibility and scalability while adding automation. Sometimes, the proprietor may often be on the store floor, and workers may wear numerous hats.  However, a fantastic guideline for virtually any store contemplating robotic welding — little ones included — would be to thoroughly assess the welding procedure and parts before making the buy.

Things to Consider

There are some critical things to consider with welding shop automation.

Changing the workshop layout

The welding solution necessary for a particular company might call for a weld mobile, which is bigger than the area accessible. The need to expand or alter the room to adapt a welding automation alternative increases the costs and may considerably affect ROI, so it is an essential factor to remember.

Cost Justification

Knowing the advantages welding robots can offer in a particular store can provide a better comprehension of precisely what the ROI expectations are. The return on investment needs to be considered before you automate your welding shop. This also includes the cost of maintenance and learning curve. It could be essential to combine many elements to acquire the desired volume for ROI functions in other stores.

Component design

While components do not have to be ideal, they need to be repeatable. When there’s a gap at a component, it ought to be a repeatable gap so it could be welded from the machine precisely an identical manner every time. Whenthere’s too much variability, it can result in more downtime for alteration or rework.

Workflow

When you add a robot to the mix you will want to change your standard operating practices (SOP’s). This means your work flow will inevitably change. A fully automated work flow will be different than that of a  semi autonomous or fully hand built product order. Typically when you automate you can get three to four times the productivity in the same amount of time and the product quality remains consistent.

Mentorship

This is only one of the most essential facets to run an effective robotic welding procedure — particularly for first-time customers and smaller stores where technicians might not be in-house. Regrettably, it’s also often among the most overlooked variables. The first training on a robotic welding process is vital, and lots of welding manufacturers provide onsite training to aid with setup, fundamental programming, and consumer training. Good mentorship helps prevent future problems and machine down time. Human error is something everyone should consider. What happens if the MIG gun is set up wrong?  The characteristics and functions of robotic welding cells may vary. Therefore it is essential to stay current on them to get the most from their investment.

Advancements will make it simpler

You will find technology and alternatives available, which produce it more straightforward and more uncomplicated for smaller stores to include robots.

Offline programming may also offer advantages for businesses. It helps stores to plan design and parts fixtures until the welding occurs in the weld mobile. This feature gives the ability to eliminate any errors before the substance is cut for fittings and can decrease machine downtime for installation. The outcome is higher uptime and throughput that’s always large.

There is machines with multiple choices of MIG guns and addons to increase productivity and boost your ROI.

Become more competitive with robotic welding

More importantly, automation will help your small business gain a competitive advantage. To obtain the advantage of improved productivity and quality, and also to decrease costs, companies must plan out their welding robot buy and execution carefully. A trustworthy equipment maker is a fantastic source to assist.

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Josh Shankowsky is a professional content marketer for Snap SEO. He is an avid snowboarder and an influencer in Northern Lights Photography.

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