Robotic welding cell delivers huge productivity benefits

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Yaskawa Motoman supplied an ArcWorld V2 six-axis robot to Sparta for use in a welding cell; the results were so impressive that Sparta almost immediately invested in a second robotic welding cell, and is now looking forward to purchasing a third.

Sparta Ltd is one of the UK's leading subcontract engineering companies, specialising in laser cutting, CNC machining, investment and die casting, metal fabrication, rubber moulding and forgings. Like any expanding, forward-thinking business, constantly reviewing and investing in the most up-to-date manufacturing processes, skills and accreditations is vital in maintaining a competitive edge.

Due to the increasing workload on its welding department, Sparta decided to explore the benefits of robotic welding systems and how these could help them moving forward. Following extensive research into what robotic systems were available and how these could best match Sparta's needs, it was clear to the company that the most suitable offering was the Yaskawa Motoman ArcWorld V2. Based on the Motoman MA series, this six-axis robot is designed specifically to meet the exacting demands of welding applications. With its superior wire feed system, internally routed cables and working envelopes ranging from 1440mm to 2010mm, the MA-Series robot significantly improves welding quality.

Sparta felt that the Motoman ArcWorld V2 would provide the company with the distinct advantage of a very compact, self-contained system that would best meet its welding requirements. Steve Davenport, Managing Director, commented: "It was like buying any machine tool, you pick the size of machine you need, the location to place it and away you go."

Productivity benefits

This was the first of two Motoman robot cells subsequently delivered to Sparta and the company is now reaping the benefits. Steve added: "The first machine had a pair of dowelled tables added to it to allow for quick set-up and changes of jigs, which has now reduced set-up time to as little as 30 minutes, floor-to-floor time. Production is now on average over 300 per cent quicker than conventional (manual) welding."

Investing in the secondd Motoman machine was an easier decision as a result of Sparta realising the benefits of the first installation. Steve confirmed: "So much production work has been absorbed into the initial Motoman system that the second purchase is giving us a production capacity equivalent to six welders. This is all with the ability to never miss a weld, produce the same quality of weld at the end of the shift as at the start, also the reduced spatter meant improved capacity for fettling. We are delighted with our decision to invest in robotic welding and we are looking forward to purchasing another Yaskawa Motoman unit later this year."

Yaskawa Motoman ArcWorld robotic welding systems are pre-engineered, pre-assembled and shipped ready to weld, delivering flexible and cost-effective options for integrating robotics into welding processes. ArcWorlds can be configured with multiple robots, a heavy-duty positioner or servo-controlled external axes for co-ordinated motion control.

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