The trend toward automation is accelerating as companies all over the world realize it’s a necessity in order to remain competitive, but is robotic automation
right for your process? Deciding whether or not you need to automate is important. You can’t assume a bottlenecked manual process will automatically work when automated. Here are some things to consider in determining whether or not your process is suitable for robotic automation:
• Are the parts in the same location?
Execute the same weld repeatedly
• Do the parts go together the same all the time?
Accurate, repeatable part designs
• Are the parts the same sizes?
No gaps, poor fit-up or poor joint access
• Is the process stable and robust?
Consistent process flow
If you can answer yes to these questions, or even if you are unsure, the next step is identifying an external expert in the process – selecting the right integrator.
REFINE YOUR SEARCH
Determine their location
Where the integrator is located is important in your selection process. Having a local company with the ability to respond quickly across multiple boundaries is important. If something goes wrong, you want a company that can have someone there the same day to service the system and get it running again.
If you are a global company, or if you are planning to expand internationally, does the integrator have the ability to service you globally? Knowing that you can go to the same integrator to get the same integrated product anywhere in the world offers many advantages. You will have commonality of parts, standardized programming and the ability to have the system serviced by the same company no matter where you are located.
Conduct a site visit
Visit the integrator to see what equipment they have on their floor. What exactly are they integrating? Can they customize a solution to meet your exact needs? Ask questions about their business and their expertise to help determine if they have the ability to meet your specific needs. Find out what level of training, onsite support and programming support they provide. Do they provide a standard class with every robot they sell?
Be sure to talk to their customers/references who have a similar process or application. If they are welding a material similar to what you use, it doesn’t matter if they are in a different industry. Ask these customers about their experiences with the integrator. Are they satisfied with their work, their ability to service their system and the training/support they provided?
Selecting the right integrator for your robotic welding system
is important to ensure you are working with a company that can not only provide the right cell for your process, but is also an expert in your process and provides excellent service and training.