FANUC to Show Collaborative Arc Welding Robot at FABTECH

Image: FANUC America

November 06, 2019      

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – FANUC America announced this week it will demonstrate its new line of collaborative arc welding robots at the FABTECH 2019 trade show, to be held next week in Chicago. The new robots will be available in December 2019.

The company said its new collaborative arc welding robots offer the same level of performance as its FANUC ARC Mate robots. A built-in sensor allows the welding cobot to work safely alongside people without the need for expensive guarding, the company said.

The new cobot systems are equipped with FANUC’s ArcTool application software, which includes an easy-to-use programming interface that supports simple and complex applications, including FANUC’s advanced features such as Weaving, iRVision, Seam Tracking, Thru-Arm Tracking (TAST) and Multi-pass.

Both of the welding cobots provide six axes of motion for maximum flexibility, the company said. The CR-15iA for ARC offers a 15 kg payload and a reach of 1,441 mm. The CR-7iA/L for ARC has a 7 kg payload, and a reach of 911 mm. The company said high payload capabilities combined with the large motion range will increase system flexibility to process a broad range of parts.

The arc welding robots also support newer applications, such as wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM). At the company’s FABTECH booth (#B-27033), the company will perform live welding to build an aerospace jet turbine component with the CR-15iA for ARC cobot equipped with the Lincoln Power Wave R450 robotic power source.

“In the production of the part, the robot deposits material layer by layer, so that only the required material is used,” FANUC America said in a statement. “Compared to traditional machining, additive manufacturing can significantly reduce material costs and waste. In addition, it’s easy to make production changes or build prototype parts as required with minimal time delays.”

Features and benefits

FANUC said its cobots for ARC provide the following features and benefits:

  • Large motion range that increases system flexibility;
  • Easy setup and programming lets companies respond quickly to customer demands;
  • Offers customers the ability to work closely with their welding processes;
  • Ideal for small and large shops – a compact design and the elimination of safety guarding saves floor space;
  • Supports FANUC’s intelligent options, including: iRVision, Thru-Arc Seam Tracking and Touch Sensing;
  • Floor, ceiling and angle mounting options on both models;
  • The CR-15iA has a hollow wrist for seamless integration of weld package dress outs, third-party utilities, and sensor cables;
  • A FANUC hand guidance function is available, that lets users teach their collaborative robot by leading it through paths;
  • Safety rated contact stop detection and FANUC’s familiar green exterior color;
  • Designed to meet safety requirements of ISO 10218-1:2011 and RIA/ANSI R15.06-2012;
  • The latest R-30iB Plus controller features an intuitive iPendant with enhanced screen resolution and more processing capability, compared to previous versions.

The global collaborative robot market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 60.85% between 2019 and 2024, according to a BIS Research Report, with welding applications included in that growth. The overall welding equipment market is expected to reach $18.17 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research. The report said “the automatic segment is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing segment over the next six years,” noting that developments in software coupled with improved capabilities of robots to weld any kind of material, will strengthen the growth prospects of that segment.