New ESAB cobot simplified automated welding with app-based software

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The ESAB cobot enables operators to teach welding paths using a software app that runs on a standard smart phone or tablet. PHOTO courtesy ESAB.

ESAB has introduced its first cobot, or collaborative robot, for MIG and pulsed MIG welding applications on steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloys.

Unlike the complex programming pendants of other cobots, the ESAB Cobot enables operators to teach welding paths using a software app that runs on a standard smart phone or tablet (Apple iOS or Android) and a “Smart Puck” to hand-guide the torch and record its position with the push of a button. Creating a weld sequence is as simple as creating a song playlist, the company says, adding that the ESAB Cobot costs a fraction of a pre-engineered robot cell, does not require a programmer and deploys in a matter of hours.

“The ESAB Cobot gives small- and medium-sized fabricators the freedom to automate high-mix, low-volume applications while improving productivity 200 to 400%,” says Olivier Biebuyck, President, Fabrication Technology, ESAB Corporation. “With its intuitive operation, we have revolutionized automated welding while addressing the industry’s foremost issues: improving productivity and finding more workers. Using an ESAB Cobot, fabricators can weld more parts without adding staff, improve quality and free their skilled welders to concentrate on other value-driven tasks.”

The ESAB Cobot features a Universal Robots UR10e industrial robot arm. UR is a leading provider of cobots and has an installed base of more than 50,000 cobots. Welding components include ESAB’s premiere heavy industrial welding system, the Aristo 500ix pulse power source, the RobustFeed U82 wire feeder, an air- or water-cooled torch and accessories.

A Siegmund 32- x 48-in. welding table organizes components and enables moving the cobot around a shop. The entire package ships on a pallet typically within two to three weeks of ordering from a distributor. Set up takes a few hours following step-by-step instructions accessed with a QR code. If a user has the skills to set-up an industrial MIG system, they have the skills start automated welding with the ESAB Cobot.

“The ESAB Cobot is a game-changer because it enables fabricators to enjoy the benefits of automation without any of the historical complexity or costs associated with automation, including competitive cobots,” says Dan Colvin, Vice President of Sales – Automated Systems, ESAB. “The ESAB Cobot deploys rapidly to address immediate needs, such as bidding on new projects, reducing delivery time to existing customers and improving repeatability.”

Powerful App

The cloud-connected ESAB software app offers free in-app support from a team of experts that responds to inquiries in two-minutes or less, as well as access to knowledge articles and extensive list of tutorials. The app automatically stores weld sequences, enabling them to be recalled even if they are deleted from a device. Users can add charts to track production data and consumables use, as well as share part programs between cobots.

The software app’s basic plan is free. A “pro plan” extends chart visibility from seven to 30 days and enables users to export chart data. It also enables additional features, such as requiring a password login and attaching photos and files to a part (such as photos showing part location on the table or a PDF of welding procedures).

Welding Platform

The ESAB Aristo 500ix power source has a maximum welding output of 500A and offers premium MIG and pulsed MIG welding performance and proven reliability in harsh environments. It features stable arc in all transfer modes, including reduced spatter with short circuit MIG, as well as all the benefits associated with pulsed MIG (little to no spatter, reduced heat input to prevent burn through and preserve mechanical properties, all-position welding, and using the next size larger wire diameter).

The RobustFeed wire feeder has a completely sealed wire feed compartment to protect the internal components and the wire against grinding dust, something no other feeder can claim. To further ensure wire integrity, a heater inside the wire feed compartment prevents moisture and reduces the risk of defects related to porosity or hydrogen inclusion, helping to avoid potential rework.

Users control welding functions with the U82 control panel, a core product of ESAB’s industrial line up for nearly two decades. The U82 offers pre-programmed synergic lines, which enable fabricators to begin welding faster and reduce change-over time between parts.

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