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Case Study: Cybernetik Technologies’ Robotic Welding Solution for Aluminium Construction Panels
08.2.20

Case Study: Cybernetik Technologies’ Robotic Welding Solution for Aluminium Construction Panels

Productivity is the lifeblood of business. The construction industry is no exception. It is increasingly shifting towards brick-less buildings. Pour concrete into moulds formed by wall and slab panels, and a smooth structure is ready – the plaster coat is unnecessary. Seasoned builders complete up to one apartment floor in a day!

Speed and smoothness apart, aluminium construction panels, also called formwork, minimize labour requirements. Simultaneously casting walls and slabs is possible. Less waste means the construction is eco-friendly. The formwork itself is corrosion-resistant and performs even with negligible maintenance.

About a year ago, a reputed supplier of construction setups approached us. The project involved fabricating wall panels and slab panels from aluminium. Per usual, time was the critical factor. And the supplier was obsessed with quality and accuracy, flooded as the market is with players who dispense robotic welding in bits and pieces.

Thoroughly aware of the unique requirements of aluminium welding and how robotic welding addresses these, our team streamlined the process – cutting down the welding time after manual loading to just six minutes!

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) allowed simultaneous (as opposed to sequential which takes longer) robot functioning while Human Machine Interface (HMI) boosted operational safety through fault diagnosis.

Cybernetik Technologies delivered the first consignment within three months, well ahead of schedule.

 

Why Use Robots for Aluminium Welding?

Robots are well suited for welding complex or large assemblies wherein the weld gun needs considerable manoeuvring [1]. Plus, they offer improved repeatability, consistency, quality, productivity, and safety [2]. And while doing all this, they bring down costs and the reliance on skilled welding personnel who are a rarity [2].

High strength-to-weight ratio [3] makes aluminium and its alloys an asset in multiple applications. Welding aluminium is tricky business though. Its low melting point of 6600C [4] prohibits the use of high welding voltage and current. But its high thermal conductivity transfers heat away rapidly from the weld zone, making high voltages necessary.

Robotic welding bridges this contradiction gap by accelerating the process. Now, fabricators can utilize high voltage and current because the rapidly moving gun will not cause burn-through i.e. melt holes in the parent material.

Multifaceted Robotic Welding Solution

Cybernetik Technologies has been delivering Robotic Welding solutions for twelve years now, including eight years for aluminium welding. Our team leveraged the massive capacity of Robotic Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding for rapid fabrication of the aluminium construction panels for walls and slabs.

Except for the part loading procedure which is manual, the process is automatic. Viewed in entirety, therefore, the operation is semi-automatic. Here are the salient features of the process:

• Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding: Utilized for welding panels.

• Six Minutes: Required to completely weld the stiffeners to the base plate.

• OTC Weld Controller & OTC Weld Robot: By utilizing robot and controller of the same company, we ensure better coupling and seamless coordination between the two units.

Such an arrangement magnifies all the advantages of robotic welding and is particularly useful considering that the weld pathway is somewhat intricate.

• Continuous Operations: The features that empower the robotic welding cell to operate without interruptions are:

  • • PLC Deployment: Makes possible the simultaneous movement of various components of the robot cell. Input/Output or I/Os of the robot controller permit sequential programming only, ruling out concurrent movement and gobbling up more time.
  • • Water Cooled Weld Gun: All welding ops involve high temperatures. The welding arc generates sizeable heat radiations while electrical parts in the weld equipment are the source for resistive heat [5]. Consequently, the weld gun needs constant cooling to avoid overheating. Water cooling is necessary for weld torches that operate over long durations at higher amperage [6]. Properly cooled MIG weld gun shields the power cable, consumable, and neck from the destructive effects of heat.
  • • Automatic Cleaning Mechanism: Spatter is very much an unavoidable element of all welding processes. The automated cleaning system prevents spatter from building up and breaking the reamer cutter blades. Reamers open up robotic MIG welding guns by cleaning the consumable inside of any spatter built up [7]. Broken reamer blade is among the most common issues encountered in robotic welding [8].
  • • Proper Consumable Grade & Installation: With the correct grade and set up, consumables do not fail prematurely and thereby minimize unplanned as well as planned downtimes. Slack connection, spatter build-up, and flawed installation of the consumable triggers the untimely failure or sub-optimal performance of the contact tips, nozzle, liner, or retaining head [9].

• Three Sets of Clamps: The operation employs three sets of clamps. Two of these function when positioning the stiffeners inside the base plate. The remaining set are power clamps that hold the stiffeners in correct position inside the base plate when welding.

• Safety: HMIs quickly detect errors, prohibiting them from escalating into major safety hazards.

In order to guarantee physical security of the highest order for the personnel working at the weld cell and around it, the cell doors open only when the robot is:

  • • At Home Position; and
  • • Non Operational.

For all other positions and situations, the safety door remains securely shut. This holds back anyone from unintentionally entering the work envelope of the robot when it is functioning.

 

Robotic Reinforcement

Robotic welding carries forward many of the natural qualities of welding, which is a fundamental manufacturing process endowed with the capacity to bind metals deep down at their molecular level.

 

Cybernetik Technologies (CTPL) takes things to the next level by building innovation into Robotic Welding Solutions for the Construction, Food, and Automotive industries. Our team harnesses the capabilities of MIG and Spot Welding to weld Aluminium, Stainless Steels, and Carbon Steels. CTPL’s welding product portfolio includes:

  • Aluminium Construction Panels
  • Industrial Cooking Kettles
  • Automobile Chassis
  • Ultra High Pressure Vessels
  • Aluminium Shelters

Write to us at sales.automation@cybernetik.com or call us at +91 20 6790 9600 for all your robotic welding requirements.

 


 

References

  1. 1. https://www.innovativeautomation.com/incredible-robotic-welding-advancements-2016/#:~:text=Robotic%20welding%20removes%20the%20human,fumes%20of%20the%20welding%20process.&text=However%20the%20deeper%20advantages%20include,repeatable%20positioning%20of%20la
  2. 2. https://www.scottautomation.com/news/articles/top-10-advantages-of-robotic-welding/#:~:text=Reduced%20Production%20Costs,workers%20compensation%20and%20insurance%20costs.
  3. 3. https://stampingsimulation.com/strength-to-weight-ratio-of-metals/
  4. 4. https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/melting-points
  5. 5. https://www.tregaskiss.com/water-cooled-robotic-mig-guns-can-reduce-consumable-costs-and-downtime-p157801#.XyQxF20zbal
  6. 6. https://www.robots.com/articles/air-cooled-versus-water-cooled-torches
  7. 7. https://www.tregaskiss.com/ethernet-vs-standard-reamer-making-the-selection–p161758#.XyQxg20zbal
  8. 8. https://www.tregaskiss.com/5-common-failures-in-robotic-welding-and-how-to-prevent-them-p161836#.XyQxrG0zbal
  9. 9. https://www.tregaskiss.com/solving-five-causes-of-downtime-in-a-robotic-welding-operation–p160167#.XyQx3W0zbal

 

30.03.20

Why Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) & Equipment Validation are of Paramount Importance?

Why Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) & Equipment Validation are of Paramount Importance?

GMP: The Phoenix Rising from the Contergan Scandal Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) refers to a set of broad, legally enforceable recommendations [1] that provide guidelines to manufacturers, packagers, and processors of pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages, medical devices, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements in order to ensure that these products are fit for human consumption (safe) and serve their intended purpose (effective) [2]. Also called cGMP wherein the ‘c’ stands for ‘current,’ the term underscores the need for manufacturers to stay updated with latest GMP practices. Companies execute GMPs through their Quality Management System (QMS) [2]. Considering the comprehensive and exhaustive nature of GMPs, the QMS has to take all departments on board [3]. Now, the reason why GMPs are so demanding lies in its history – GMPs evolved in the wake of the infamous “Contergan Scandal.” Contergan was the brand name under which a German company sold Thalidomide [4]. The chemical was fairly popular among expectant mothers in Europe for countering morning sickness and sleeplessness [5]. They woke up to the horrendous side effects of thalidomide when researchers established the connection between the chemical and severe birth defects in 10,000 infants [6]. Other estimates place the figure higher and regard this as the second largest manmade catastrophe, war being the first [4]. Thalidomide products were almost distributed in the United States! It was only the incessant efforts of vigilant activists that got the chemical banned in 1962, at the eleventh hour [5]. A positive fallout of the disaster was an invigorated public opinion that spurred regulators into issuing the first set of GMPs in 1963. Thereafter, GMPs have expanded steadily to include more products and devices. With this as the context, it is easy to see why GMPs seek to guarantee that products are [2]: • Safe for the end user. […]

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29.06.20

Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Food Manufacturing Process

Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Food Manufacturing Process

Safety: A Paramount Necessity Tertiary Food Processing delivers Ready to Eat (RTE) foods and Heat to Serve foods [1]. RTE foods include instant snacks and soups, ready meals, baked goods, instant/breakfast cereals, meat products and the like [2]. Young people in the 18-35 age-group are the most active consumers of RTE foods [2]. Safety is at the core of all processes for manufacturing RTE foods. This is because they are not processed any further [3] – their hygiene has to be ingrained in their processing. Regulatory bodies prescribe strict standards for operators across the food supply chain. For example, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) mandates a documented Food Safety Management System (FSMS) plan for every operator. FSMS plan includes Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygienic Practices specific to the sector [4]. Apart from safety, these standards ensure nutritional value of foods. Such standards establish what foods can and cannot contain as well as what are the minimum and/or maximum limits of ingredients they can contain. This, they do by: • Restricting the amount and type of natural and synthetic contaminants including microbes, pesticide/insecticide residues, and metal, antibiotic, and crop contaminants [4]. • Laying down guidelines for which food additives can be included and in what quantity [4]. • Instituting norms for packaging, labeling, and advertisement claims [4]. • Capping the industrial trans-fat content in foods for them to qualify as trans-fat-free [5].   RTE Manufacturing Process Safety is of course the core principle for RTE foods manufacturing. The process must also be rapid, energy efficient, and ergonomic while developing the required food flavor and texture. Following are the general stages in manufacturing RTE foods: • Unloading & Transport: Unloaded raw materials are transported to the location of the cleaning equipment. • Cleaning: Removes dirt, dust, mud, […]

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9.07.19

Three signs that you should change your bagging machine

Three signs that you should change your bagging machine

You may be running a big or a small business, but the packaging equipment is always a huge investment. The choice of packaging machine defines your ROI. Packaging machines are fascinating. As today every other industry is dependent on packaging operations, auto bagging systems became an integral part. Though the advancement in packaging is huge still there are some limitations in manual bagging. First is the quality and second is the bagging consistency Cybernetik offers fully automatic bagging machines which are ideal for your packaging needs. We also provide machine maintenance schedule and hands-on training to ensure that our customers fully understand the in and out the machine. Regular operation interruptions or long downtimes can be devastating for your business, and can even lead to safety hazards for your staff, making it critical to know when it’s time to upgrade or replace your equipment. So how would you know what is the right time to upgrade? More or frequent downtime If you are experiencing frequent upsets with the manual bagging machine and that leading to downtimes. It is not a good sign. The troubleshooting time and cost will be added to your operation cost. Inaccuracy and low production rates Operating with manual bagging machines is always a difficult job. Maintaining efficiency and product quality is a crucial task. Auto bagging not only helps you to meet your production rates but also keeps the quality better. Cybernetik offers automatic bagging machine which in accordance with the cGMP standards. The machines are ideal for the food and pharma industry where hygiene is important. Reduction in Speed You should not ignore when the machinery is running slower than the actual speed. this may lead to the frequent downtime and ultimately a loss of production hours. Our preventive maintenance schedule gives you the exact […]

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