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CASE STUDIES:

ROBOTIC ARC WELDING

Table of Contents
Construction Vehicles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Building Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Agricultural Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Construction Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7
Petroleum Extraction Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Metal Fabrication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Oil and Gas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Metals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

CHALLENGES
Provide flexible robotic welding system
to automate welding of new design of
motor grader with seven models. Front,
middle and rear assemblies are manually
pre-tacked prior to robotic welding, then
manually welded together to form the
final frame.
Large, heavy parts consist of mild steel
plate 19-76 mm thick. Depending on the
model, rear frames weigh more than
2,000 kg each; front frames weigh
approximately 1,450 kg and mid-section
frames weigh approximately 1,500 kg.
Each frame section requires 50-150 welds,
which range from 102-2,743 mm L.
Improve productivity and shorten lead time.
Reduce dependency on skilled human
welders due to shortage.
Make aesthetically pleasing welds on
outside of grader frame that do not need
to be ground down prior to being painted.
Accommodate low ceiling in plant with
non-gantry robot system.

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman provided a custom
welding system, including:
Motoman 20-kg payload, extended reach
robot with controller and base riser.
5-m servo track with 1,000-kg capacity.
(2) Tandem-arc GMAW torch packages,
and 500-Amp digital welding power
sources, with interface to robot controller.
1,000-lb bulk wire reels with high-speed
wire-assist feeders.
Automatic wire cutter and tandem torch
reamer.
200-V Com-Arc seam-tracking and touchsensing package.
Motoman two-axis servo-tilt/rotate
skyhook
positioner with 3,000 kg payload capacity.
X-axis orbital speed is 0-1.9 rpm. Y-axis
orbital speed is 0-2.7 rpm.
Motoman three-axis, two-station servopowered positioner. Includes two
headstock/tailstock positioners mounted
on a rotating base axis. Each headstock/
tailstock has a 3,000 kg payload (6,000 kg

payload total). Span between headstock/


tailstock faceplates is 3.75 meters. Index
time is 5 seconds.
(2) Operator stations (one per welding
station). Functions: Job Start, Emergency
Stop, Hold, Alarm Reset, and Servo Power-up.
Palm button for cycle start activation.
Ready signal light and alarm indication
light. Positioner auto/manual switch.
Thumbwheel switch for program selection
(up to 100 programmed jobs) and manual
positioner jog joystick.
Workcell protection package, including
safety fencing, light curtains, and three
safety-interlocked access gates. Meets
Canadian CSA Z434-03 robotic safety
code as well as ANSI/RIA R16.06-1999
safety standard.

FIXTURES/TOOLING
Customer provided manual fixtures for
this project. Operators manually bolt frame
parts onto the two positioners. Robot
welds grader front and rear assemblies on
the headstock/tailstock positioner; midsections on the skyhook positoner.

PROJECT RESULTS
Robot system meets or exceeds all project
goals. Allows customer to build on two
shifts what would have taken three shifts,
eliminating a production bottleneck.

Flexible system accommodates various


models/batch runs with easy changeover;
operator simply selects new program using
robot teach pendant.

Tandem arc welding is at least 2.5 times


faster and can eliminate need for multiple
passes on long, heavy deposition welds,
saving cycle time.

System requires two operators


versus 10-11 skilled welders.

motoman.com
ACS-082-B

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

BUILDING COMPONENTS

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

CHALLENGES
Robotically weld large assembly and
fabrication tables that are 4-m L x 2-m W
and weigh approximately 2,450 kg, as well
as subassemblies that weigh 181-227 kg
each. Tables are mild steel 6-13 mm thick
and each requires 660 single-pass welds,
ranging from 25-152 mm long.
Improve safety and reduce high turnover
due to manual welding in 100-degree plus
heat during summertime.
Provide flexible welding system that can
accommodate a wide variety of models
and subassemblies, and has capability to
perform 85% of welding on large tables.

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman provided two
MotoSweep cells, each including:
Six-axis Motoman Expert Arc robot
with controller.
MotoSweep transport beam. Robot is
invert-mounted from MotoSweep
transport beam and controlled as an
external axis.

Miller Auto-Axcess 450-Amp power


source with air-cooled Motoman Tough
Gun torch. Robot welds using barrel-fed
0.035" steel wire with an 80/20 mix of
Argon/CO2 shielding gas.
Automatic wire cutter, nozzle cleaner and
sprayer, and torch realignment device.
Two stationary holding fixture tables,
one per side of the robot cell.
Operator station on stand-alone pedestal.
Functions include: Job Start, Emergency
Stop, Hold, Alarm Reset, and Servo Powerup. Palm button for cycle start activation.
Ready signal light and alarm indication
light. Thumbwheel switch for program
selection (up to 100 programmed jobs)
and manual jog joystick.

FIXTURES/TOOLING
Customer provided their own fixtures. Each
MotoSweep cell has two stationary holding
fixture tables, one per side. The robot can
process the same type of parts on both
sides or different parts can be run on
opposite sides of the same robot cell. Parts
are fixtured very tightly and concisely to
ensure welded parts
are square and flat.

Workcell protection package that meets


ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard,
including safety fencing, light curtains,
and safety-interlocked gates.

PROJECT RESULTS
Highly flexible, extended-reach robot
system meets or exceeds all project goals
and objectives.
Conservatively speaking, robot system
payback was less than six months.

Production capacity increased from 2025 per month to 6-7 per day, enabling
customer to bring out-sourced production
of 40 units per month back in-house.

Reliable robot system helped customer


reduce lead time from 20-24 weeks to 16
weeks. Customer anticipates further lead
time reduction to eight weeks.

Flexible robots produce high-quality,


consistent welds, significantly reducing
scrap and rework.

motoman.com
ACS-083-B

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding and Handling

CHALLENGES
Provide flexible system to weld and handle
12 different hay baler roll assemblies.
These consist of tubes with trunnions on
each end that are tack-welded in place,
plug-welded and then final-welded.
Tubes are 1,170-1,556 mm L and have ODs
ranging from approximately 89-168 mm.
Final welded assemblies are 1,318-1,959 mm L.
System must be designed to hold enough
parts to support approximately one hour
of unattended production.
Improve weld quality and reduce rework.
Achieve run-out tolerance within 1.5 mm
for tubes and 0.4 mm for trunnions.
Achieve cycle time of approximately
5-6 minutes per part.

SOLUTION
A Yaskawa Motoman custom welding and
handling solution, including:
Two Motoman robots with base risers.
The arc welding robot features a 50-kg
payload; the material handling robot
features a 200-kg payload.

Miller 450-amp AutoAxcess weld


package, including interface, four-roll wire
feeders and feed rolls, interconnecting
cables and weld dress-out package.
Motoman Tough Gun package with
500-Amp air-cooled torch.
Motoman ComArc (80-V) touch-sense
package with seam-tracking.
Reamer/sprayer nozzle cleaning station.
Custom end-of-arm tool pneumatic
multi-function mechanical gripper for robot.
Motoman rotary positioner (for trunnion
infeed) with 300 kg capacity per side and
4-second index. Includes two fixtures (one
per side), each with 24-trunnion capacity.
Tube infeed/outfeed devices gravity-fed
infeed with singulator, and gravity outfeed
chute, including three-level racks with
rack-full sensors.
Laser sensor station. Laser sensor is used
to determine the location of the welded
trunnion shaft relative to disc.

Allen-Bradley PLC package with HMI


interface.
Cell guarding package that complies with
ANSI/RIA-15.06-1999 safety standard.
Includes perimeter safety fence with two
access gates; arc flash curtains; safety
laser scanner at trunnion infeed station;
and 4-color status beacon with audible
alarm.

FIXTURES/TOOLING
Yaskawa Motoman provided a custom
pneumatic multi-function mechanical
gripper for the material handling robot
that handles two trunnions and one tube/
roll assembly of the required sizes. Gripper
includes open/closed sensors, and laser
sensor that searches for slots or holes
in tubes and verifies length/diameter.
Customer-provided pneumatically clamped
mechanical slide welding fixture is mounted
on heavy-duty positioner.

Motoman headstock positioner with 3,000 kg


rated headstock load; 6.7 rpm headstock
speed; and 4.95-second 180-degree sweep.

PROJECT RESULTS
System exceeds requirements for quality
improvement. Run-out tolerances are
consistently held to 0.2 mm on trunnions
and 0.75 mm on tubes, which is twice as
good as the goal of 0.4 mm on trunnions
and 1.5 mm on tubes.

Robotic solution achieves goal of


significantly reducing rework and related
direct labor costs.
System meets requirement for ability
to support approximately one hour of
unattended production.

System achieves adequate cycle time,


which is expected to improve even more
as customer implements additional tooling
and part changes.

motoman.com
ACS-099-B

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

CHALLENGES
Provide flexible robotic system capable
of welding 26 different outrigger beam
models distributed across three part
families. Mild steel parts range from
approximately 1,524-3,658 mm L,
6-19 mm thick and weigh 227-771 kg.
Each beam requires 7-10 welds, ranging
from approximately 51-3,048 mm L.
Achieve 27-minute cycle time for all
models (one part every 0.45 hours).
Depending on model, beams take
3-4 hours to weld manually.
Increase throughput and productivity to
enable out-sourced beams to be brought
back in-house.
Improve weld quality and consistency.
Allow skilled manual welders to be
redeployed to other jobs within the plant.

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman provided a flexible triple
welding system, including:
(3) 20-kg payload robots with individual
controllers and base risers.
(3) Fronius TimeTwin TPS 5000 digital
weld packages.

(3) Fronius Robacta Twin Compact


900-Amp water-cooled tandem-arc
GMAW torch packages.
(3) Nozzle cleaning stations for tandemarc torches. Reamer-type with wire cutter
and anti-spatter spray.
(6) ComArc (200-V) seam-tracking and
touch-sensing packages.
(2) Motoman headstock/tailstock
positioners with 3,000 kg rated load.
MotoMount fixture mounting system
included.

FIXTURES/TOOLING
Yaskawa Motoman provided hydraulic
clamping fixtures for the two headstock/
tailstock positioners. A large spanner
between the HS/TS faceplates is adjustable
to accommodate various beam lengths.
Two alignment clamps and two swing arms
per fixture hold each part for welding.
Fixtures include part-present and clamp
open/closed sensors.

Common equipment base for controllers


with table for welding power supplies.
Fixture package adjustable spanner
and hydraulic fixtures that accommodate
required range of part lengths and models.
Operator station.
Cell guarding package that complies with
ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 standard, including
2.4-m woven-wire perimeter safety fence;
arc flash protection curtains; (4) sliding
gates with positive-break safety switches
at positioner load/unload station for part
flow-through; and three-color status beacon.

PROJECT RESULTS
Motoman system welds parts significantly
faster than the 27-minute cycle time
requirement. Some parts are welded in
13 minutes. Most parts average
17-18 minutes.

Customer was able to bring all out-sourced


production back in-house, saving time
and money.
Flexible robotic solution meets or exceeds
project goals and objectives, and can weld
all required parts.

Robotic tandem-arc GMAW system


consistently produces high-quality
heavy-deposition welds and enables
skilled manual welders to be redeployed
elsewhere in the plant.

motoman.com
ACS-110-B

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

OVERVIEW
After experiencing an increase in the
number of orders for its hydraulic
excavators, a global construction
equipment manufacturer suddenly found
the manual welding process at its new
assembly plant to be insufficient to meet
demand. The manual welding stations
were responsible for the final welding of
cab bodies for eight different models of
hydraulic excavators. With the sheer size
of the three large cab body components,
and a combined weight of 12,000 pounds,
each station would require its own costly
positioning device in addition to welding
equipment. The work also meant dealing
with quite a bit of tolerance (part variation),
and required the welder to compensate for
gap sizes from 0-6 mm. Since the finished
weld would be highly visible after the
excavator was fully assembled, presenting
a consistently perfect weld was absolutely
necessary.

The manufacturer identified the need to


implement a robotic welding solution to
meet its increased demand and chose
Yaskawa Motoman based on its ability to
provide the fastest cycle times with the
least amount of welding cells.

CHALLENGES
Position large and heavy components
quickly and efficiently
Produce consistent welds for eight
different models that meet stringent
inspection requirements
Adapt welding parameters for varying
tolerances in gap sizes up to 6 mm wide

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman provided two dual
robot dual positioning cells designed to
handle weights up to 15,000 pounds. The
positioners had two axis of rotation in
addition to Z-lift capacity.

A custom-designed hydraulic tool on


the positioner held the cab body on the
central component common to all eight
different excavator models. This holding
method required very little adjustment
when switching between the different cab
body models.
The welding system included four
Motoman MH50 robots, each featuring
an AccuFast seam-finding sensor,
Lincoln power source, Dinse weld torch
and a custom HMI.
A Servo-Robot seam-finding camera
measures the gap between components.
It then uses weave adjust adaptive fill
technology to adjust oscillation, weave
amplitude and travel speed to compensate
for varying gap tolerances and produce a
final weld that meets requirements.

PROJECT RESULTS
After passing a macro etch test to verify
the internal quality of the welds, as
well as a visual test for consistency, the
manufacturer installed the robotic welding
system at its new assembly plant.

Due to the fast cycle times of the robotic


system, the manufacturer was able to meet
the increased demand of their product.
The Motoman robots, combined with
adaptive welding technology, consistently
produce high quality welds that meet the
manufacturers stringent requirements

The robotic welding systems have helped


the manufacturers assembly plant save
time and money, producing up to 12,000
hydraulic excavators per year.

motoman.com
ACS-134

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

PETROLEUM EXTRACTION EQUIPMENT

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

OVERVIEW
Following a spike in orders due to growing
demand for oil and gas refining products,
a global supplier of petroleum extraction
equipment identified the need to improve
manufacturing efficiency. Specifically, the
company sought to increase productivity
in the manufacturing of walking beams
and frame bases, essential components in
its pump jack artificial lift systems that are
used to extract crude oil from the ground.
While the design of pump jack systems
hasnt changed significantly in 60 years, the
company realized it needed to change how
it manufactures walking beams and frame
bases in order to remain competitive and
control costs. Thats because, while the
frame bases are a single, standard size, the
manufacturer produces walking beams in
ten different sizes. The companys maximum
walking beam size is 40" x 14" x 310" with a
maximum weight of 6,740 lbs.
It was determined that utilizing an
automated robotic welding solution in the
production of walking beams and frame
bases was key to achieving the necessary

efficiency gains. The company collaborated


with Yaskawa Motoman to implement
robotic arc welding in the manufacturing
of these components, including a welding
system with the capacity to weld parts of
varying sizes.

CHALLENGES
Increase throughput by 65 percent,
compared to previous production operations
Improve weld quality
Accommodate ten different sizes of
walking beams

SOLUTION
FRAME BASE

The custom arc welding robotic system


designed to manufacture the frame
base features a Motoman MA3100
extended reach robot invert-mounted to a
MotoSweep overhead servo beam.
This fully integrated system features a
Miller Auto-Axcess weld package and
cell guarding.
Specific welding programs are selected
by using a bar-code reader located at the
operator station.

The MotoSweep configuration provides


tremendous flexibility and additional
reach for large weldments, as well as easy
access for part setup and maintenance.
Since the part was very tall and had to
be welded on both sides, the flexibility
and reach of MotoSweep allowed a single
robot to accomplish the welds, saving the
expense of a second robot.

WALKING BEAMS

A two-station arc welding cell was


designed to manufacture the walking
beams. The cell features two extended
reach MA3100 robots and two MHT-3100
headstock/tailstock (HS/TS) positioners.
The HS/TS features a 6,300 kg (13,891.5 lb.)
rated load, and a universal fixture that
accommodates a variety of beam sizes.
The positioner motion is coordinated with
the robot(s) for welding of contoured parts.
ComArc, a through-the-arc seam tracking
function, follows the weld joint during
welding by sensing the change in current
while weaving. AccuFast, a non-contact
laser sensor, greatly reduces cycle time
and provides faster search speeds by
eliminating wire cutting and wire deflection.

PROJECT RESULTS
Following a customer run-off to verify the
effectiveness, quality and efficiency of the
walking beam and base frame welding
solutions, the manufacturer took delivery
and began its welding operations.

The automated robotic welding solution


led to the manufacturer achieving its
requirement of increasing throughput by
65 percent in the production of frame
bases and all ten sizes of walking beams.

The systems extended flexibility and reach,


combined with the ability of its sensing
functions to provide precise monitoring,
drove improvements in weld quality,
accuracy and cycle time.

motoman.com
ACS-131

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

METAL FABRICATION

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

with Kinetiq Teaching

OVERVIEW
A full service metal fabrication shop and
contract manufacturer improved weld
quality, throughput and lead times by
installing Kinetiq Teaching on a robotic
welding system. An early adopter of robot
technology for spot welding and plasma
cutting, the company utilizes eight robot
welding systems.
The company offers services from design
to complete manufacturing, specializing in
finished in-the-box products. Clients include
firms in office furniture, transportation,
material handling, display systems,
consumer products, industrial machines,
medical equipment, electronics, military,
automotive and aerospace sectors.

Batch sizes of 50 to 300 parts were once


the norm, but customers are steadily
reducing the number of parts per order.
This reduction in batch sizes requires
more rapid fixture changes to weld
different parts, which creates bottlenecks
in scheduling and maintaining production
flow through the robot welding cells. At
the same time, the company now runs
800 jobs weekly, operating two shifts a
day, seven days a week.
Despite regular investment in staff
training to enhance operator skills and
boost productivity, the company needed
to further increase productivity without
adding costs for capital equipment, staff
or overtime.

CHALLENGES

SOLUTION

Growth in Internet sales demanded


greater production efficiency, particularly
in the rapid production of office furniture
components. As a result of customers
placing more orders online, batch sizes
and lead times are both decreasing while
the total number of orders is increasing.

Kinetiq Teaching, an intuitive direct


teaching method, allows existing manual
welders to quickly develop programming
skills to improve robot uptime and reduce
changeover time between batches.

PROJECT RESULTS
The companys president saw the potential
of Kinetiq Teaching while attending a
trade show and installed it on an existing
Motoman robot. This eliminated the need
for a large investment in training for manual
welders to become robot programmers.
By utilizing Kinetiq Teaching, manual
welders can program and make fixture

changes to adapt to smaller batch runs

while the companys two robot technicians


perform more value-added work. First and
second shift operators learned within
a few hours how to program robots using
Kinetiq Teaching; then the process accelerated
significantly. After watching an instructor
perform a task just once, operators were

Using Kinetiq Teaching allows operators


to quickly program robots for new or
repeat jobs. In-depth programming
knowledge is not required; operators
simply guide the robot by hand to
desired weld positions and determine
the welding parameters through a touch
screen interface. Kinetiq Teaching easily
facilitates changes in the torch angle
(6D motion) as the operator simply
twists it in the orientation desired. Its
simplified programming environment
allows operators to program tasks by
selecting icons from the teach pendants
color touch screen, similar to a smart
phone application.

able to create their first robot program in


less than 15 minutes. The more operators
utilized Kinetiq Teaching, the more rapidly
they learned: After four tries, operators
who had initially required an average of
nine minutes to program an operation were
able to do so in five minutes.

motoman.com
ACS-132

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

OIL AND GAS

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

OVERVIEW

CHALLENGES

A manufacturer of radiators for the


petroleum industry was faced with
increased demand for its manifold
headers due to expanding oil and natural
gas production. Its current header
manufacturing process, which involved
a team of skilled welders manually
positioning and welding the several
different models of headers before
polishing the welds for painting, was unable
to keep up with demand. With the high cost
of skilled labor, the manufacturer needed
to produce more parts without increasing
staff or overworking its current workforce.
In addition, maintaining weld quality was
crucial to prevent manifold leaks that could
severely damage the attached engine
during operation.

Increase production by running during


unsupervised shifts

Yaskawa Motoman suggested several


changes in manufacturing that would
facilitate automation and developed a
complete robotic welding solution to
automate the manufacturers manifold
header welding process.

Distinguish among various manifold sizes


and position them accurately for welding
Maintain high weld quality to ensure leakproof operation

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman provided a triplerobot welding cell coordinated by a
single controller (triple robot control).
The cell consists of two Motoman
MA1900 welding robots and one Motoman
HP600D material handling robot. Multiple
robot control allows the robots to work
together on the same task or perform
independent tasks with each arm.

provides the flexibility to handle different


part sizes and perform multiple processes
within the same workcell.
Both welding robots utilized
Yaskawa Motomans through-the-arc
ComArc IV 200V TouchSense package.
ComArc senses changes in current to
adjust welding weave and ensure
leak-proof welds without overwelding.
A remote monitoring software program
provided crucial alerts and current
production data anytime, anywhere, on
any device.

The material handling robot, equipped


with a custom gripper designed for jigless
welding uses a non-contact AccuFast
laser sensing unit to detect part location.
Jigless welding (using a material handling
robot to move parts to the process)

PROJECT RESULTS
As the manufacturer required, production
of manifold headers now takes place in
three shifts, around-the-clock, including
times when workers arent present.
Accufast and ComArc sensing technology
reduce cycle times while ensuring accurate
weld placement on all manifold models to
provide leak-proof, high-quality welds.

The remote monitoring system monitors


the robots for 6.5 hours of unattended,
lights-out operation between staffed shifts,
sending notifications via email if a fault
condition such as missing arc or low weld
gas occurs.
Using a single controller to coordinate
three robots saves floorspace and reduces

equipment costs. Yaskawa Motoman also


programmed the robots to perform paint
preparation grinding after welding, further
reducing the required labor.
Today, the manufacturer uses its triple
robot arc welding solution to market
against their competition.

motoman.com
ACS-133

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

TRANSPORTATION

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

OVERVIEW

CHALLENGES

A long-haul truck trailer manufacturer


was facing difficulties with its process
to weld large, heavy trailer components.
The process, which included layering
multiple steel sheets to the required
thickness, typically took 30 to 60 minutes
for a trained welder to complete. With
the combined weight of finished parts
reaching approximately 10,000 pounds,
workers were having trouble maneuvering
the parts while maintaining weld quality.
Also, contoured parts, long seams and
tiny variations between parts required
the welder to make adjustments during
welding.

Decrease time required to complete


component welds.

The manufacturer had previously


considered automating the welding
process, but didnt have the budget for
tracks or multiple robots per station
required to position and weld the large
components.
To address these problems, the
manufacturer turned to Yaskawa Motoman
for an automation solution.

Maintain critical weld-quality requirements


while layering multiple steel sheets to
required thicknesses and adjusting to
variations in parts.
Reach the entire part without the expense
of a track or a second robot.

SOLUTION
Yaskawa Motoman designed four robot
welding cells with one extended-reach
Motoman MA3100 arc welding robot and
one Motoman MH50-20 material handling
robot per cell; both robots in each cell are
controlled by a single Motoman DX100
controller. Multiple robot control allows
both robots to work together on the same
task or perform independent tasks with
each arm.

of robot cells, is used to optimize robot


and equipment placement, as well as
to perform collision detection, reach
modeling and cycle calculation. Off-line
robot programming was completed in
parallel with the system manufacturing
build.
AccuFast, a non-contact laser seam
finder, and ComArc, a through-the-arc
seam tracker, are used to locate part
variations and adjust the welding process
accordingly to maintain weld quality.
The robot controllers built-in Multi-Layer
function simplifies programming for the
required multi-layer welding. As the first
layer is welded, the path is corrected using
the sensor data. The corrected path is
stored, and the jobs for succeeding layers
are created automatically based on the
saved path.

Yaskawa Motomans MotoSim off-line


programming software was utilized during
the design and build phases. MotoSim,
a comprehensive software package
that provides accurate 3D simulation

PROJECT RESULTS
The robotic arc welding systems reduced
cycle time and increased efficiency while
maintaining the high standard of weld
quality required.
AccuFast, ComArc and Multi-Layer
software ensure accurate, high weld quality
for contoured parts, long seams and
part variations.

The extended-reach Motoman robots


provide the extension and handling
capacity for the full range of parts
produced, without the need for tracks or
additional robots. This saved equipment
costs while providing the reach required to
weld the large components.

Automating the welding process allowed


the manufacturer to reduce staffing on the
operation from four workers to one. Three
workers were reallocated to other valueadded tasks.

motoman.com
ACS-135

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. AUGUST 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

METALS

Yaskawa Motoman Case Study:

Arc Welding

OVERVIEW
A bridge component manufacturer was
seeking a quicker and more efficient way
to manufacture its steel cross frames. The
cross frames are built to be bolted inbetween the steel girders that run parallel
to the flow of traffic, adding structural
integrity and support to the bridge. The
manufacturers welding process for the
cross frames was all manual. With part
dimensions of 8 feet by 12 feet and weights
up to 2,000 pounds, welders had to spend
a significant amount of time using an
overhead crane to position the part from
one weld to the next.
The manufacturer had previously
considered automating its cross frame
welding process. But with the twodimensional standard in drafting bridge
designs, most robotic welding systems
required an engineer to complete the
expensive and lengthy process of converting
the designs into a three-dimensional format
before the information could be added
into the robotic welding program.

SOLUTION
Additionally, any robotic welding system
would have to compensate for the tiny
variations in size from one cross frame
to the next where the bridge bends and
pitches. Yaskawa Motoman was the only
robotic automation company able to
address these two issues.

CHALLENGES
Develop an interface capable of accepting
information in two-dimensional format
Produce consistent welds among series of
cross frames with varying sizes
Accurately position and weld large
steel components with weights up to
2,000 pounds
Decrease process time to allow
manufacturer to be more competitive

Yaskawa Motoman provided one


Motoman MH50-20 robot with a Miller
Auto-Axcess 450 welder and a Dinse
water-cooled torch. This arc welding
system features two AccuFast
non-contact seam finding sensors to
locate gaps and to ensure accurate weld
placement. The two AccuFast sensors
were mounted at 90 degrees from each
other and allowed rapid searching of the
frames to truss nodes. Two Motoman
MHT3100 positioners securely hold parts
during welding and quickly position parts
between welds.
A custom interface allows information
to be added to robot programming from
two-dimensional designs in a recipe-style
setup. The program saves all dimensions,
requiring the operator to enter only the
changed dimensions when a subsequent
cross member has a slight variation in
size. The custom interface also allows the
operator to vary the program for different
size and shape frames, adapting to
high-mix and low-volume batches.

PROJECT RESULTS
After installing the equipment, a part
runoff was completed to verify effective
operation. Yaskawa Motoman provided
on and off-site training, and continual
technical support to ensure success.

Now, a single operator loads and unloads


the pre-tacked cross frames for final welding
in the two-station robot cell. This system
allowed the manufacturer to reduce cycle
times for its steel cross frames to 20 minutes
per part, a significant reduction from the
time- and labor-intensive manual process.

With shorter cycle times requiring less


manpower to complete, the manufacturer
was able to reduce its costs per part and
gain a competitive edge.

motoman.com
ACS-136

2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. OCTOBER 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK

motoman.com

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE


YR-109-B 2014 YASKAWA AMERICA, INC. OCTOBER 2014

Yaskawa America, Inc. | Motoman Robotics Division


100 Automation Way | Miamisburg, OH 45342
Tel: 937.847.6200 | Fax: 937.847.6277

MOTOMAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK


ALL OTHER MARKS ARE THE TRADEMARKS AND
REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF YASKAWA AMERICA, INC.