As an OEM with a small to medium-sized business and a single large order or an ongoing order from a metal fabrication and machining service, finding ways to get the best service possible is always a consideration. CNC technology and computer control over machining centers and equipment certainly have its benefits, and most OEMs now require this level of control over tolerances and specifications for parts and component.
With more and more metal machining and fabrication shops moving to automated and CNC technology in their production, is it a benefit for an OEM to work with a machine shop offering robotic welding?
The Benefits and Advantages
As with any type of automated system in machining, fabrication, or manufacturing, the choice of robotics is more than just a factor of the technology. When shops have robotic welding systems that are proven to be effective in producing quality parts, they offer significant advantages to any OEM.
One of the advantages to consider is a reduction in turnaround time on orders. The use of robotic technology means around the clock operations, reducing the time to complete even high volume types of orders.
The consistency and precision of robotic welding are other factors to consider in choosing this option. Even with the most experienced human welders, there is some slight difference between each weld. With the use of a fully automated system, the quality with the first piece welding is identical to the quality of the thousandth or the millionth piece welded.
Another consideration that is a benefit to an OEM is the greater efficiency in the welding process itself. With reduced use of consumables in the welding process combined with little if any waste, prices for the process can be lower, more than offsetting any setup cost considerations at the start of the job.