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June 22, 2010

ABB to Replace AWC System with More Cost Effective and Accurate Weldguide III for ABB Robotic Welding Systems

When it comes to industrial robots, ABB Robotics is an undisputed leader serving automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. More than160,000 ABB robots are at work worldwide. ABB Robotics' robot software, peripheral equipment and modular manufacturing cells are widely used for the performance of such tasks as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. ABB Robotics has further enhanced its product portfolio with the introduction of WeldGuide III.

 
In recent release, ABB Robotics has described its new product as an adaptive sensing system that performs weld seam joint tracking during the welding process, identifying variations in the weld joints to proactively correct the robotic torch path.
 
The product, which can be defined as a combination of hardware and software, utilizes voltage and current sensors to take real-time measurements through the welding arc and to make any adjustments necessary to keep the robotic welding torch in the joint path no matter the programming.
 
The company further informed that the product, WeldGuide III has been pecifically designed for ABB's newer IRC5 controller. The interesting point to not is: it comes for half the price of the Advance Weld Controller (AWC) system that ABB has used since 1994. Furthermore, WeldGuide III is also easier to install than the previous prduct used by ABB. WeldGuide III requires less initial programming than traditional robotic welding control systems and according to its maker, it is ideal for applications on heavy weldments.
 
ABB Robotics has mentioned a few key areas, where its WeldGuide III will prove to be maximum effective.
Heavy deposition welds where a 1 to 2 mm weave pattern must be used to fill the gap between the parts
Applications where the welding seam location moves slightly or more from part to part
Parts where multiple passes are required to complete the weld 
 
The maker of the product explained that in all the heavy, high heat welds, WeldGuide III would provide more precise path accuracy and better weld integrity than would be achieved with standard welding systems. With the tracking system automatically adapting to the part, WeldGuide III is expected to provide more consistent welds, even on parts where there is considerable part variation, providing far better throughput and less re-weld situations, the company officials said.
 
Primary application areas for WeldGuide III on ABB robotic welding systems include off-highway and agricultural equipment, transportation, defense, and other manufacturers that fabricate large, heavy metal parts requiring longer, wider welds.
 
"WeldGuide III is a direct result of consistent input from our key heavy welding integrators and customers. Welding and metal fabrication are primary growth areas for robotics and ABB will continue to develop best-in-class robots and control systems to serve these markets. WeldGuide III is so easy to use and cost effective that it is even appropriate for the smallest job shops," Joe Campbell, vice president sales and marketing for ABB Robotics, North America, said.
 

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for RobotXworld. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight


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