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The Development Trend of Welding Robots


Welding Robots have been widely used in the automobile manufacturing industry. Welding of automobile chassis, seat frames, guide rails, mufflers and hydraulic torque converters has been widely used in automobile chassis welding production.


The application of Spot Welding Robot technology can improve welding quality, so even trying to use it to replace some arc welding operations. The movement time in short distances is also greatly shortened. Domestic automobile manufacturers are mostly producing safety parts for car chassis such as rear axles, subframes, rocker arms, suspensions, shock absorbers, etc., using MIG welding technology as the main component. The main components are stamped and welded with an average plate thickness of 1.5 ~4mm, welding is mainly in the form of lap joints and corner joints. The welding quality requirements are quite high, and the quality of its quality directly affects the safety performance of the car. After the application of robot welding, the appearance and internal quality of the welded parts are greatly improved, and the stability of the quality is guaranteed, the labor intensity is reduced, and the labor environment is improved.


Industrial Robots

Industrial Robots


Welding robot mainly includes two parts: robot and welding equipment. The robot consists of a robot body and a control cabinet. The welding equipment, for example, arc welding and spot Welding, is composed of welding power source, wire feeder, welding torch and other parts. For smart robots, there should also be sensor systems, such as laser or camera sensors and their control devices.


The development trend of welding robots


At present, the international robotics community is stepping up scientific research and conducting research on common robotics technologies. From the perspective of the development trend of robotics, welding robots, like other Industrial Robots, are constantly developing towards intelligence and diversification. Specifically, it is manifested in the following aspects:


1) Robot manipulator structure: Through the application of modern design methods such as finite element analysis, modal analysis and simulation design, the optimal design of the robot manipulator is realized. Explore new high-strength lightweight materials to further increase the load/weight ratio. For example, the robot company represented by the German company KUKA has changed the parallelogram structure of the robot to an open-chain structure, which has expanded the working range of the robot, and the application of lightweight aluminum alloy materials has greatly improved the performance of the robot. In addition, the use of advanced RV reducer and AC servo motor makes the robot manipulator almost a maintenance-free system. The organization is developing towards modularity and reconfiguration. For example, the servo motor, reducer, and detection system in the joint module are integrated; the joint module and the connecting rod module are used to construct the complete robot by reorganization; there are already modular assembly robot products in the market abroad. The structure of the robot is more dexterous, the control system is getting smaller and smaller, and the two are moving in the direction of integration. The use of parallel mechanisms and the use of robot technology to achieve high-precision measurement and processing is the expansion of robot technology to numerical control technology, laying the foundation for the future integration of robot and numerical control technology.


2) Robot control system: The focus is on open and modular control systems. The development of open controller based on PC is convenient for standardization and networking; the integration of components is improved, the control cabinet is becoming smaller and more exquisite, and the modular structure is adopted; the reliability, ease of operation and maintainability of the system are greatly improved . The performance of the control system has been further improved. It has been developed from a standard 6-axis robot in the past to now being able to control 21 or even 27 axes, and realizes software servo and full digital control. The man-machine interface is more friendly, and language and graphical programming interfaces are under development. The standardization and networking of robot controllers and PC-based network controllers have become research hotspots. In addition to further improving the operability of online programming, the practicality of offline programming will become a research focus. In some areas, offline programming has been practical.


3) Robot sensing technology: The role of sensors in robots is becoming more and more important. In addition to traditional position, speed, acceleration and other sensors, assembly and welding robots also use laser sensors, vision sensors and force sensors, and realize automatic welding. Tracking and automatic positioning of objects on automated production lines and precision assembly operations have greatly improved the robot's operating performance and adaptability to the environment. The remote control robot uses multi-sensor fusion technologies such as vision, sound, force, and touch to carry out environmental modeling and decision-making control. In order to further improve the robot's intelligence and adaptability, the use of multiple sensors is the key to its problem solving. The research focus is on effective and feasible multi-sensor fusion algorithms, especially in the case of non-linear, non-stationary, and non-normal distribution. Another problem is the practicality of the sensing system.


4) Network communication function: The latest robot controllers of Japan’s YASKAWA and Germany’s KUKA have realized the connection with Canbus, Profibus and some networks, making the robot a major step forward from the independent application to the network application. Robots have evolved from dedicated equipment in the past to standardized equipment.


5) Robot remote control and monitoring technology In some high-risk environments such as nuclear radiation, deep water, toxic and other high-risk environments, welding or other operations require remote-controlled robots to replace humans. The development characteristic of contemporary remote control robot system is not to pursue a fully autonomous system, but to focus on the human-machine interactive control between the operator and the robot, that is, remote control and local autonomous systems constitute a complete monitoring and remote control operating system, enabling intelligent robots to walk out of the laboratory and enter practical applications stage. The "Sojner" robot launched by the United States to Mars is the most famous example of the successful application of this system. Coordinated control between multiple robots and operators can establish a large-scale robot remote control system through the network, and in the case of time delay, establish a pre-display for remote control, etc.


6) Virtual robot technology: The role of virtual reality technology in robots has evolved from simulation and rehearsal to process control, such as enabling remote-controlled robot operators to feel like they are in a remote working environment to manipulate the robot. Based on multi-sensor, multimedia and virtual reality and telepresence technology, the robot's virtual teleoperation and human-computer interaction are realized.


7) Robot performance-price ratio: Robot performance continues to improve, while the price of a single machine continues to drop. Due to the rapid development of microelectronics technology and the application of large-scale integrated circuits, the reliability of the robot system has been greatly improved. In the past, the reliability MTBF of the robot system was generally several thousand hours, but now it has reached 50,000 hours, which can meet the needs of any occasion.


8) Multi-agent control technology: This is a brand-new field of robotics research. It mainly studies the group system structure of multi-agents, the mechanism of mutual communication and consultation, perception and learning methods, modeling and planning, group behavior control, etc.


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