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Robot welder choice

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
I work for an off-road business building bumpers and vehicle accessories. We have decided that we want to get a welding robot, but haven't seen anything too impressive. I'm aware that we will need to have excellent fitup and comprehensive jigs, and that is not an issue.

We demoed a Lincoln robot and were thoroughly unimpressed. The controls looked and felt like they were from 1992.

We are looking at Miller and OTC robots currently. It's our understanding that the best system Miller sells is actually a Panasonic GIII Tawers robot with a Panasonic Welder and Panasonic Controls. I don't know what Miller actually brings to the table other than maybe service and distribution.

The OTC looks fine but has a less advanced offline software, which may or may not matter much. Controls seem slightly more dated than the Panasonic.

We will be demoing the OTC and Miller(Panasonic) arms in two weeks. Both promise to be far better than the Lincoln (Fanuc) that mostly sat there giving errors when trying to move between points or calling a function.

Do any of you have experience with any robot welding systems?
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Why aren't you looking at Fanuc?

I have bought nice used Fanuc welding robots for a few hundred bucks. They are brick shithouses and spares are plentiful.
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Why aren't you looking at Fanuc?

I have bought nice used Fanuc welding robots for a few hundred bucks. They are brick shithouses and spares are plentiful.

The Fanuc arm with the Lincoln welder was just impossibly slow to program. It was Fanuc controls. There were also a ton of errors during the demo that the actual repair technician couldn't work through without redoing the whole program. The robot itself was fine, but the takeaway was it would take a day or two to program any of our parts.
 

nscele

Aluminum
Joined
May 30, 2007
Location
Australia Qld
I started with a Fanuc / Lincoln setup and have since moved on to 2 ABB cells with Fronius CMT welders, its a different world.
You can use a laptop and the Robtstudio package to work on your programming offline. I run almost exclusively aluminium.
Both the robots, external axis, and welders have been extremely reliable.
Any questions feel free to ask
ee4a31f8ea92e457255eeb4713f8b26b.jpg


Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
 

kineticmx

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Location
United States, CT
I started with a Fanuc / Lincoln setup and have since moved on to 2 ABB cells with Fronius CMT welders, its a different world.
You can use a laptop and the Robtstudio package to work on your programming offline. I run almost exclusively aluminium.
Both the robots, external axis, and welders have been extremely reliable.
Any questions feel free to ask
ee4a31f8ea92e457255eeb4713f8b26b.jpg


Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk

Hi, im in a similar boat as the OP and In my research the Fanuc robot systems are the most abundantly available units in the used market.
Could you comment on the drawbacks that lead to you switching from Fanuc/Lincoln to ABB/ Fronius?

Also rough price range? I see companies offering refurbished Fanuc cells in the 30-50k price range which is already at the too end of my budget, curious how much of a jump up other systems are.

Thanks


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nscele

Aluminum
Joined
May 30, 2007
Location
Australia Qld
I originally purchased a Fanuc / Lincoln package as a foot in and learning setup. It did help in that when the time came I knew what I needed and what was going to work for me.

Fanuc is Fanuc, a teach pad with pages of drop down menu's, I have no doubt it can do anything the others can except you will run out of memory.

If it is dedicated to a very specific job or set of jobs it will be fine.
The motion path is also speed dependent, so what happens at safe speed is not necessarily what happens at full speed with regards to corner rounding.

Setting up new jobs will be way slower as you can only see a few lines of the program at a time, are limited to the number of position registers.

The ABB robots are much faster to program as you can use the Robotstudio software as a code editor connected continuously to the robot controller. The "Rapid" programming language is like a C+ type program, define variables and constants for positions, weld schedules, whatever you can imagine.
Using the Robotstudio editor you get prompted as to what is expected and what options are available at each command or entry, it shows where positions or variables are declared and what the current values are.
If you want to try something with an existing program, make a backup either locally on the control or on the connected laptop, do your modification, if it works keep going, if it doesn't just restore the backup.

Memory is pretty much unlimited, you can also run backround tasks to monitor buttons or other processes.
The motion path is speed independent, so no matter the speed the path stays the same.

As for costs, the refurbished Fanuc / Lincoln system was around 15000USD ten years ago, the ABB robots with Fronius welders were purchased new.
 








 
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