How ABB Makes Cobot Arc Welding Easier

July 19, 2023
ABB showcased the Easy Teach Device and Wizard Easy Programming software on its GoFa cobot to help first-time robot users create high-quality welds without the need for in-depth knowledge of robot programming.

Despite the increased use of cobots across industries over the past few years—Fortune Business Insights reports that the global collaborative robot market is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2021 to $16.4 billion by 2028 (a CAGR of 42.7%)—it remains to be seen how extensively cobots will move into heavy industrial uses, such as welding.

To boost the use of cobots in arc welding applications, ABB has released its Cobot Arc Welding Package that includes the Easy Teach Device and Wizard Easy Programming software to help first-time robot users create high-quality welds without the need for in-depth knowledge of robot programming. According to ABB, this new robotic welding package is “easy to change from part to part and is well suited for both low-volume, high-mix and high-volume, low-mix operations.”

Using this welding package with ABB’s GoFa cobot, ABB said users can create and execute welding sequences in less than 30 seconds, saving nearly 70% of the programming time typically associated with such welding applications. The company added that GoFa’s position accuracy and lead-through programming means that users are assured of high-quality welds every time.

Developed for small- to medium-size manufacturing operations, as well as fabricating shops, the Easy Teach Device and Wizard Easy Programming package for the GoFa cobot contains all the components needed to quickly set up and begin welding, says ABB. This package can be used with power source equipment from any major supplier.

According to ABB, the main innovation of the Cobot Arc Welding Package is how the Easy Teach Device allows the use of lead-through programming with interactive buttons to determine weld points. “Using the Easy Teach Device, users can automatically generate the programming code by guiding the robot's arm along the welding path,” said ABB. This capability enables users who are not robot experts to program welding sequences without having to interact with the FlexPendant to program the cobot.

At Automate 2023, Matt Conklin, welding application engineer at ABB, demonstrated the Easy Teach Device pointing out how it “allows you to keep your hands on the robot while you're programming with lead-through” movements. Once a user has completed the lead-through of the cobot arm, Conklin said users can see the program directions generated in the pendant’s software by leading the robot arm through the way points. See a video of the demonstration below.

For those who prefer to program the cobot’s movement in the software, ABB’s Wizard Easy Programming Software in the Cobot Arc Welding Package uses basic graphical blocks, rather than programming code, to generate directions for cobot. ABB said the blocks in the programming software represent actions such as “move to location,” “pick up an object” and “repeat movements,” thereby eliminating the need for users to have specific programming knowledge.

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