ABB says its VirtualArc robot welding simulation software allows welding robots to achieve precise, clean, mass-produced welds.Human welders draw on experience, intuition and trial-and-error to establish the right parameters for a welding job. Transferring this skill to robots can be complex.While robots speed productivity, and provide accurate repeatability of tasks, they can only get the welding right if they have been programmed correctly.
“Teaching” a robot to perform a arc-weld, means providing it with the knowledge that comes from many years of human experience and the intuition that enables it to choose the appropriate process for a new task.Traditionally, experienced welder set up the welding parameters on robots by performing a series of test welds and adjusting parameters to hone the result. This approach uses up materials, manpower and energy.ABB says its VirtualArc software features on-screen optimization of welding parameters, avoiding real-life trial and error, saving welding materials and energy. It can define the exact parameters then test them virtually, without actually carrying out any welds.The software uses a sophisticated simulator that incorporates information on the equipment available, such as the welding device and the power supply, and application data, such as the materials to be used, the plate thickness, and the required joint configuration.Depending on the results of the virtual test, the operator can adjust parameters such as weld speed, torch angle etc. and optimize for maximum productivity and minimum energy use, while maintaining the required quality of the weld and allowing the plant’s robots to continue with their work on other applications.