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The Advantages of Robotic Laser Welding vs. TIG Welding on Thin Sheet Metal

Updated: Jun 5



Robotic Laser Welding: Unmatched Production Efficiency, Precision, and Cost-Effectiveness


The manufacturing industry is constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements that seek to improve efficiency, precision, and cost-effectiveness. In the realm of metal fabrication, particularly when dealing with thin sheet metal, the debate often centers on the choice between traditional Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding and the more modern robotic laser welding. Understanding the benefits of each method, especially from a cost perspective, is crucial for manufacturers aiming to enhance their production lines.


Benefits of Collaborative Robot Laser Welding


  • Unparalleled precision: The laser beam can be finely focused to a small point, allowing for precise and clean welds with minimal heat input, perfectly executed every time.


  • Reduced risk of deformation: Minimal heat input is particularly beneficial when working with thin sheet metal, as it reduces the risk of warping, burn-through, and other deformations associated with the higher heat inputs of TIG welding.


  • Robotic repeatability: Automated laser welding also ensures repeatability and consistency in weld quality, taking operator fatigue out of the equation, which can become a factor on high volume jobs.


  • Pre and post-weld cleaning: Up to a 15mm cleaning path significantly reduces part setup and post-processing grinding or polishing.



One of the Standout Advantages of Robotic Laser Welding is Speed


Laser welders can operate at a pace significantly faster than manual TIG welding. This is due to the continuous nature of the laser beam, which does not require stops to replace rods or adjust equipment, as is common in TIG welding. Faster welding speeds directly translate into higher throughput, enabling manufacturers to complete more units in less time, thus increasing overall productivity.


The initial investment in collaborative robot laser welding may be well worth exploring as the long-term cost savings are significant.



Multifaceted Savings


  • Workforce multiplier: Collaborative welding robots reduce monotonous or dangerous production demands, freeing skilled welders to focus on higher level weld setups and multiplying their expertise across production lines. Less skilled operators can run jobs, as the training required is typically minimal, especially compared to the high level of skill and experience needed for proficient TIG welding.

  • Operational efficiency: Increased throughput and consistent performance reduce production times and operational costs. The precision of robotic welding minimizes waste and rework.

  • Maintenance and operational costs: Robotic laser welders, with fewer consumable parts and a cleaner welding process, typically have lower maintenance costs than TIG welding setups.


  • Cleaner: The process of laser welding produces fewer welding fumes and virtually no spatter, decreasing the need for cleanup and further lowering operational expenses.



Robotic Laser Welding: a Compelling Return on Investment


Robotic laser welding represents a significant production advancement over traditional TIG welding, particularly in handling thin sheet metal. Its benefits extend beyond improved operational metrics to include substantial cost savings over the lifespan of the equipment.


For businesses focused on quality, efficiency, and profitability, investing in robotic laser welding technology aligns with the demands of modern manufacturing environments. As manufacturers continue to seek ways to stay competitive, the shift towards automation, especially in precision-dependent tasks like welding, is likely to accelerate, making robotic laser welding an essential component of future production strategies.


From the Productive Robotics Weld Team

This article was written by our Weld Team. Productive Robotics is the leading American manufacturer of collaborative robots for welding, CNC machine tending, and more. All of our welding robots feature the following;

 

·         Zero programming. No robot experience needed

·         Teach a weld faster than it takes to weld by hand

·         Repeat the same weld perfectly every time.

·         7 Axis robot: More maneuverability for less fixturing

·         Online Support by experienced, degreed welders

 

Have a question or need more information? Talk with a welding and robotics expert: 805.244.9300 or download this product guide.


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