The selection of the most appropriate specific RapidArc® program depends upon the welding wire required. Pioneer Tool & Die uses the .045” (1.1 mm) and the .052” (1.3 mm) RapidArc® welding programs to meet all of its robotic and hard automation requirements. The use of the RapidArc® program increased productivity on the robotic System 20 up to 50 percent over previous welding operations. For hard automation, welding cycle times were decreased by 33 percent.
The use of the System 20, which features a fast index, FANUC® Servo driven turntable (58” dual zone), helped to decrease the cycle times of production parts. The repeatability of the weld joints and part fit-up was excellent. Combined with the tooling, which featured Pioneer - designed automatic clamping, the FANUC® 100iC ARC Mate® robot excelled at air cut moves and provided consistent delivery of the arc to the weld joints. In addition, the implementation of FAST START with the welding program resulted in an improvement in cycle time. FAST START turns on the power source and locates the exact point of the start of the weld before there is contact with the
part. The result was a six-second reduction in cycle time.
Lincoln Electric SuperArc® L-59, AWS ER70S-6, .045” (1.1 mm) diameter GMAW welding wire, packaged in 500 lb. Accu-Pak® Boxes, provided consistent fillet sizes and excellent appearing finished welds. The faces of the required fillet welds were flat-to-slightly-convex and the weld penetration and side wall fusion met all finished weld requirements. Today, the System 20 utilizes .052” (1.3 mm) diameter SuperArc® L-59 to achieve higher deposition and faster cycle times.
The successful use of RapidArc® GMAW-P with the System 20 naturally led to a trialed use of the Lincoln Electric Power Wave® 455M and Power Feed® 10M wire drive and control on a dual torch hard automated welding system. Known to the Pioneer Tool & Die personnel as “Box” welder systems, they feature the use of two welding arcs to fabricate the cylindrically shaped pistons found in air ride components. The finished welds are generally circumferential and simultaneously welded in the 2F, horizontal position. The use of the RapidArc® program, in the trialed effort, resulted in a 30% decrease in arc time, significantly reduced spatter loss, and decreased distortion. What was true for the trial Box welder system turned out to be true for the remaining nine systems: the productivity gains enjoyed when employing RapidArc® outstripped any possible reservations about further deployment of Power Wave® systems.
Barry Foore, the Vice President of engineering at Pioneer, emphatically states: “The service is fantastic and the introduction of the newer technology has been a profitable investment for us. We have never had a working relationship like we now have. Lincoln Electric is a very technically savvy company and we have really enjoyed the technology improvements and the reduced cost of welding.”
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