Case study – Weld Cell

Our client is a specialist manufacturer of sheet metal fabricated components for a variety of customers and industrial sectors. Due to a new business award our client successfully secured a contract for the supply of two variants of stainless steel enclosures. The assembly demanded high quality welded seams which needed to offer an aesthetic appeal whilst ensuring a water tight joint. The contracted batch quantities and quality specifications meant that conventional manual manufacturing processes were not suitable to meet the end users requirements.

Adelphi Automation were asked to look at a robotic solution to achieve the contracted manufacturing quantity and more significantly the consistent weld quality that is achieved from an automated process. We were asked to design a cell that was portable to allow ultimate flexibility within the final process. This was achieved by constructing the cell on a mild steel fabricated skid to form a robust cell base which can be easily transported via a fork lift. All the elements of the cell were secured to the skid to form a self-contained system.

To achieve the desired process a six axis industrial robot was selected to manipulate a weld source in a preprogramed path. Due to the nature of the process our concept was to supply two identical work-holding fixtures mounted to a three axis positioner. This allowed the loading of the tooling and welding to happen concurrently and thus maximising the production output of the cell. The requirement of the process was to ensure that the fixtures were mounted to a trunnion frame, this was an additional programable servo axis controlled by the robot to achieve a synchronised motion during the welding process. The work-holding fixtures were designed to accept both product variants using simple change parts to minimise set up time between batched build.

The cell was completely enclosed within a sheet metal guard enclosure which included interface flanges in the roof, this allowed easy connection of the cell to our clients existing factory fume extraction system.