Explaining Robotic Weld Technician Training and Programming

welding operator reviewing processes on a tablet

Robotic welding provides you with increased production and an excellent return on investment. However, programming a robotic welding machine is a complex process, especially if you are a novice programmer. Oxygen Service Company explains some common dos and don’ts for robotic welding programming.

How To Program a Robotic Welder: The Dos and Don’ts

Do:

  • Create an arc welding file library based on size and name each file clearly and concisely.
  • Make sure your weave files match the arc files for each size.
  • If you use the welding speed specified in the arc start file, remove the speed tags on process moves.
  • Ensure weld programs are small—typically, from 100 to 200 points is a good starting point. Adding too many weld files to one program makes editing confusing.
  • Label each weld with a line comment on the move before the arc start.
  • Use logical subroutines to keep program size manageable, such as a program for each positioner orientation if there are many weld locations on a multi-sided part.
  • Focus on torch/arm posture for welded joints. Add air-cut moves in between welds for a smoother flow.
  • Keep a master part for programming, labeling it with weld and arc-size file numbers. A master part with detailed labels allows for a quick reference weld adjustment if necessary.
  • Add a log or change record for each robot cell so operators can note the date, time, and reason for any implemented changes.

Don’t:

  • Create a program with improper control axes if your system is equipped with coordinated positioners or multiple robots.
  • Use multiple weld settings like wire feed speed and voltage on different weld locations with the same joint type. Instead, use travel speed to adjust the heat or fill for various joint fit-ups. Wire feed speed and voltage control the burn of the wire, preventing weld spatter.

With OSC’s on-site programming services, you get a high-quality welding robot that gets the job done right the first time.

How To Use Your Welding Torch

Welding torches have a wide range of features to make different types of welding tasks easy to complete. You can perform MIG, TIG, spot, laser, and arc welding processes on one machine with the proper torch in place. Torches are also manufactured with peripheral equipment to increase productivity, such as a wire cutter and a nozzle cleaning station.

Here are some dos and don’ts for using a welding torch:

Do:

  • Use a torch alignment tool to ensure accurate angles.
    • Standard 45-degree torches are not always the same as a torch in a robot work cell. Before programming, place your torch in the alignment tool to ensure the bend is correct. If not, use the tool to align the bend, guaranteeing an appropriate torch angle.
    • Welding supply companies can provide you with a variety of tools and torches suitable for multiple machine models.
  • Create and maintain a good tool center point (TCP) and check the job to confirm the TCP location and alignment before touch-ups.
    • Robot suppliers who specialize in integration have gauges and tools to help automate the TCP accuracy process.
  • When searching for weld joints, go through your routine and shift “on” before touching up points to prevent losing the relationship between your searches and points.
  • Program your weld points with the same wire-stick-out length, which is the distance between the contact tip and weld joint.
    • You can create a “teach tip” by drilling out a contact tip and inserting a sharpened tungsten or drill bit with your desired stick-out length.
    • The teaching tip should be straight to help negate the effects of wire cast on the TCP location. If you want to use the actual weld wire, clip the wire to the same length when programming with either welpers or a gauge.

Don’t:

  • Touch up a position for one defect on one part. Ensure there is no defect in the part and the upstream process to prevent changing a point to fit an out-of-spec part.
  • Select your robotic welding torch based on your tool crib consumables. It’s convenient to have the same parts in a plant, but it’s an industry standard to use different torch neck angles or dated designs if your maintenance department has the same spare parts on hand consistently.
  • Use extended torch necks or narrow nozzles unless necessary. Extended necks result in decreased repeatability and damage. Smaller nozzle diameters clog easily, increase chances of spatter, and require more reaming.

Providing You With Different Types of Welding Robot Programming Services

At Oxygen Service Company, our team of automation professionals includes Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI) who know how to program different types of welding robots. When you consider OSC for your welding automation systems, you get superior capabilities and services, like:

  • Robotic and Cutting Material Solutions
  • Professional Installation and After-Purchase Service
  • Experienced Offline and On-Site Programming
  • A Preventative Maintenance Program Option

Our team has the industry-leading technical skills to offer the guidance you need to select the appropriate automated robotic welding system to get the job right. Contact us today to learn more about our offline and on-site programming services.