Case Studies / Arc Welding / Towers and Structural Steel

Plasma | Oxy-Fuel Flame Cuttting | GMAWFlexible robotic system provides plasma cutting/oxy-fuel cutting and arc welding on tower components or structural steel parts. Robot programs are created off-line and downloaded to the robot system, saving programming time and increasing accuracy. Depending on parts, robot system meets or exceeds goal for 25% cycle time reduction. Robot system can perform cutting and layout operations in 30 minutes that formerly took 4-8 hours to do manually. When welding towers, robot is more accurate and welds complete sections while manual process must be done in sections and requires use of a crane to roll the part around. Changeover between cutting and welding processes requires less than 15 minutes.

Project Challenges

  • Provide a flexible robotic system that can perform plasma cutting/ oxy-fuel flame cutting and arc welding on tower components or structural steel parts. Tower and customer-supplied fixtures combined will not exceed 18.29 m (60') in length, 11,337.9 kg (25,000 lb), or 1,828.8 mm diameter. Structural steel will not exceed 60' in length or 4,535 kg (10,000 lb), with crosssections limited to 914.4 mm x 609.6 mm maximum.
  • Reduce existing cycle times by 25% to meet increased production needs.
  • Provide ability to create robot programs off-line and transfer them to the robot system with minimum touch-up required.
  • Achieve changeover between cutting and welding processes in approximately 15 minutes.

Yaskawa Motoman Solution

Motoman provided a custom plasma/oxy-fuel flame cutting and arc welding system, including:

  • Motoman 20-kg payload, extended-reach robot. Software includes: MotoSim® EG, FormCut, Relative Job Shift and Sensor Function.
  • Robot servo track – 19-m stroke.
  • Integration of customer-supplied plasma cutting package.
  • Oxy-fuel flame cutting package.
  • Miller Auto-Axcess 650-amp weld package.
  • Tough Gun water-cooled torch package.
  • ComArc (200-V) high-speed touch-sensing/seam-tracking.
  • Tool changer package.
  • Reamer/sprayer nozzle cleaning station with automatic wire cutter.
  • ToolSight™ comprehensive torch alignment package.
  • Heavy-duty headstock/tailstock positioner with 11,337.9 kg rated load.
  • Mobile tailstock sub-base – with manual adjustment for part length variation and 16.5-m travel.
  • Custom heavy-duty roller conveyor – 18.29-m L with 4,535 kg capacity.
  • MotoHMI (used to transfer jobs programmed off-line to robot).
  • Operator station (used for remote start of robot and control of structural steel station).
  • Common equipment base.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI RIA 15.06-1999 safety standard, including 2.44-m woven-wire perimeter safety fence with (2) personnel access gates and positive-break safety switches; arc flash protection curtains; light curtains at load/unload stations; and E-stop pull cords along the conveyor.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Customer provided the tower holding fixtures. Fixtures use manually operated hydraulic clamping (that is not controlled by robots). No sensors are used.

Ref: ACS-108

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