The complete replacement of manual welding with welding robots is still premature, but the goal of replacing 90% of welders with welding robots in batch welding operations can be achieved. Welding robots are increasingly favored by small and medium enterprises for their advantages of high efficiency, high quality, and easy management. For some products requiring high precision, welding robots alone cannot solve the problem, so users need to add an automatic seam tracking positioning system in a timely manner.

The importance of automatic seam tracking system for welding robot configuration

  • In the welding production process, welding robots often encounter various technical conditions such as workpiece alignment errors, clamping deviations, and sheet metal thermal deformation. In addition, welding robots often require manual repair after welding, which not only increases labor costs but also increases the repair rate of products for small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • High cost of improving the workpiece feeding: updating the original processing equipment and designing with high-precision fixtures.

  • Users' actual production situation: welding products have many varieties, small batches, and high requirements for welding accuracy and welding technicians.

In order to improve the processing efficiency of welding robots, reduce teaching time and difficulty, and solve the positioning problem of automatic seam tracking, it is imperative.

What is automatic seam tracking and welding positioning of welding robots?

Strictly speaking, the seam tracking and positioning system of welding robots consists of two parts: before welding, the seam positioning function is used to check whether the clearance is appropriate and whether it accurately reaches the joint to be welded. Real-time seam tracking, monitoring product deformation during welding.

  • Seam tracking: Before the welding position data is collected, an optical sensor is installed for the welding position, which is collected by a power supply or welding parameters and then transmitted to the welding robot and various adaptive fuzzy control algorithms for adaptive control and real-time seam tracking.

  • Welding positioning: The process of using one or more searches to determine the position of the weld to be welded by moving the welding robot or editing the machine program path.

How to automatic seam tracking and positioning of welding robots?

There are multiple methods for the automatic seam tracking and positioning of welding robots. The commonly used methods are peripheral auxiliary detection and self-detection.

  • Auxiliary detection: laser tracking and photographic imaging tracking. The seam tracking and positioning control system can collect seam-related data through optical measurement equipment, and the welding robot can adjust the adaptive arm's movement trajectory through data comparison, thereby realizing real-time seam tracking.

  • Self-detection: Inductively test welding wire and real-time test welding parameters.

Methods for realizing the automatic seam tracking and positioning of welding robots

The seam tracking and positioning methods of welding robots have their own advantages and disadvantages. The working principles of the following two methods are summarized:

Real-time seam detection method: 

The welding method of welding products is gas shielded welding and angle welding or lap welding (the thickness of the plate is greater than 3mm). The quality of seam tracking is closely related to the control algorithm and matching of the welding robot arc welding power supply.

It can reduce costs: reduce the cost of detection equipment, but the cost of welding robot body and welding equipment will correspondingly increase.

There are many limitations to the applicable welding production environment.

Laser automatic seam tracking is currently the preferred mature and reliable control method in the market

  • It is not limited by welding process, method, and environment.

  • Peripheral equipment welding robots.

  • Increased peripheral hardware costs.