The Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System Click image to enlarge

ARC Specialties has developed an artificial intelligence pipe welding system that combines AI, advanced sensors, and the UR5 collaborative robot from Universal Robots.

The Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System (AIPW) system was developed specifically to address the challenge of creating repeatable full penetration pipe welds.

AIPW incorporates the 6-axis UR5 collaborative robot arm from Universal Robots to carry out the challenging welds.

The toughest welds to make are full penetration, single sided, V butt, pipe welds. Historically, ARC Specialties declined these jobs because joint fit-up was never repeatable.

“Only human welders with a ‘golden arm’ able to compensate for variation in root openings, weld centre lines and groove volumes could handle this challenge,” says Dan Allford, president of ARC Specialties. “With the industry facing labour shortages, we decided to develop an intelligent machine with complete knowledge of pipe welding, with full motion and welding control.”

The AIPW pre-scans the root opening (gap) using a 2D laser, then uses the data to generate the robot path and welding parameters. Gap variations are compensated for with changes in oscillation, torch position, travel speed and welding conditions. The UR5 positions the torch over a tack weld to start the arc to insure 100 per cent root weld acceptance. Fill and cap pass programs are optimized to fill the groove using user selectable weave or stringer bead welding techniques. The AIPW uses the Miller Auto Continuum welding power supply to weld the root with Regulated Metal Deposition (RMD), then switches to pulsed spray for the fill and cap passes. This combination of Gas Metal Arc Welding techniques maximizes welding productivity while producing X-ray quality, full penetration pipe welds.

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