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 . Plus, they offer improved repeatability, consistency, quality, productivity, and safety . And while doing all this, they bring down costs and the reliance on skilled welding personnel who are a rarity .
High strength-to-weight ratio  makes aluminium and its alloys an asset in multiple applications. Welding aluminium is tricky business though. Its low melting point of 6600C  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 . 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 . 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 . Broken reamer blade is among the most common issues encountered in robotic welding .
• 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 .
• 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 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:
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