Welding quality, point by point
KUKA Roboter optimizes process reliability in spot welding
9 September 2005
These interchangeable, electric motor-driven weld guns with integrated force sensors from Augsburg-based KUKA Roboter are the major innovation in spot welding at “Schweissen & Schneiden”. The KUKA KR C2 robot controller continuously regulates the exact force throughout the welding operation using a sensor integrated into the motor of the gun. The result is reproducibly high seam quality. Existing industry solutions have relied on expensive and sporadic quality control using special quality assurance systems. The special feature of the solution from KUKA Roboter is that the servo gun is operated as a robot external axis. This significantly reduces cycle times compared with solutions involving external controllers. This is because all gun motions are programmed and executed via the robot control panel in synchronization with the robot motion. Furthermore, the internal communication between the robot and the gun controller eliminates interface problems. The servo guns are controlled using the tried-and-tested KUKA axis servos in the robot control cabinet.
The force-controlled servo guns are programmed and operated using the KUKA. ServoGun_FC technology package. Customers receive the sensor system and KUKA robot controller as a complete system.
The challenge lies in new materials
This approach from KUKA eliminates thermally-induced force fluctuations, and the weld force remains constant, even when the electrode tips have started to wear. Furthermore, force profiles can be defined, bringing the user a high degree of flexibility with respect to the material to be processed. An interesting “byproduct” is the possibility of obtaining weld point documentation based on the force signal generated during the process. This is highly useful in the age of the warranty obligation.
Turnkey spot welding system solutions from a single supplier
In addition to tried-and-tested spot welding robots, KUKA Roboter also offers complete systems for this sector. The customer no longer needs to look to a range of different manufacturers for the individual components required. KUKA Roboter provides complete, tested systems tailored to the customer’s specific requirements – all from a single supplier. In this way, the customer is spared lengthy negotiations and coordination with contacts from different companies. Another advantage for the customer is that a complete system from KUKA Roboter also comes with comprehensive customer support for the entire functional unit.