When beginning a new project for robotic arc welding, consider these fixture design objectives:. For the purposes of this discussion, the reference to fixturing is specific to the custom designed device used to locate or support the work piece during the welding operation. Often used as interchangeable terms, 'tooling' is usually reserved for a specific device designed to form, compress, or shape. One of the first steps in designing a robotic welding fixture is to choose the fixture base-metal. Factors include initial cost, long-term maintenance costs, and special characteristics particularly suited to the robotic welding application, such ad the critical aspect of maintaining accuracy and part repeatability in an environment exposed to elevated heat and weld spatter.
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If you are going to be a good designer of weld fixtures and part-holding jigs you must become familiar with clamps and how to use them and modify them. Often times, when you start to work for a company you will be told which clamps they prefer. But as you delve into designing more fixtures you will soon learn that not all clamps fit all applications. Sometimes, you have to be creative. Remember that machine design is science, but it is also art. It takes creativity to come up with solutions to tight spaces or welding metals that expand as they get hot.
The tapped hole in the block that is welded onto the clamp allows for the use of a simple hex bolt and jam nut for clamping. It also allows you to shorten or lengthen the swing arm. In this picture the clamp is clamping down between two locating pins with shoulders. The product part rests on the shoulders of the pins. The clamp presses down between the two pins.
This manually operated Toggle Clamp has a plate welded below the arm. This changes the swing clearance and also allows more room for a weld gun to come down from the top. This clamp, mounted to a RAPid Riser , has a block welded to the top of the swing arm.
Allowing the clamp to sit lower in the fixture, keeping it within the space parameter requirements for the weld fixture. Another view of the two-part clamp weldment. Sometimes one clamp can be used to hold parts in a fixture that runs more than one product. Here holding the yellow product part. And here holding the orange part. It is used for more than product line, or similar but different product parts.
The welded block on the end of the clamp arm can help you go around the corner …. Notice the rest pads have yellow shim packs under them.
The clamp also has shims under it. The shims under the clamp as well as the set screw in the clamp arm will help adjust the amount of pressure on the tube. Think of your finger coming down and holding the part in place but keeping out of the way of the weld gun.
The finger clamp is not welded to the clamp arm, instead it is fastened to the clamp by a shoulder screw and two jam nuts. Fingers should be harder material or be treated to resist weld splatter. Rentapen usually makes the fingers out of A2 and heat treats them. With automated clamps you need to keep the operators fingers out of the way, so put in two-handed controls.
Attend a trade show, do a google search, talk to other machine designers, tour factories. SME chapters hold tours and have tons of education available as well as networking opportunities. I am sure, once you start your brain thinking and creating, you will have some ideas too. Share them with me and I will include them in a future lesson. It wolud be appriciated if you show how to calculate the force required to clamp the object for welding. I guess that would be the most important parameter of the fixture design.
A similar question came up and I posted it on linked in. I got some great feed back on the issue. I shares some comments in a blog. There were several suggestions, like weld both sides at one time, tack weld it first, heat sinks, etc.
I am not an expert on welding. Some weld distortions can not be addressed with fixturing. Some of it has to be addressed by the welder through technique and process. We often use straight cylinders for clamping.
Either by adding a button to the end of the rod. Or, by attaching it to some sort of lever or slide. This also doubles as a method for locating or pinning a detail. Sushant says: August 7, at pm. Allen says: July 26, at am. Sign up for Updates, Education, and More!
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11 Ideas for Clamping Product Parts in Weld Fixtures
In the last few decades, Automation has become of prime importance in the production of goods and services in every part of the world. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation tries to eliminate the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. In simple words, Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in industry. The main advantages of automation are:. There are mainly three types of systems commonly used for automation purposes i. Electrical systems are fast but expensive, hydraulic systems are efficient but not convenient due to possible oil leakages, pneumatic systems are inexpensive but are limited to low pressure applications.
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Fixturing for Robotic Welding
A fixture is a work-holding or support device used in the manufacturing industry. Using a fixture improves the economy of production by allowing smooth operation and quick transition from part to part, reducing the requirement for skilled labor by simplifying how workpieces are mounted, and increasing conformity across a production run. A fixture differs from a jig in that when a fixture is used, the tool must move relative to the workpiece; a jig moves the piece while the tool remains stationary. A fixture's primary purpose is to create a secure mounting point for a workpiece, allowing for support during operation and increased accuracy, precision, reliability, and interchangeability in the finished parts. It also serves to reduce working time by allowing quick set-up, and by smoothing the transition from part to part. Economically speaking the most valuable function of a fixture is to reduce labor costs.