Mesh Automation

Thin Aluminum Welding Cell with CMT

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Thin Aluminum Welding Cell with CMT Case Study
Project Details
  • MESH designed, manufactured, integrated and started-up a custom engineered welding cell for welding .055” thin aluminum. Fronius CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) process was used to dramatically reduce burn through and control thermal extremes.
  • Cell was used to weld service loop structures for fiber optics. Eliminating weld burn through was critical to ensure the service loop structure did not damage fiber optics.
Automation Equipment
  • GEN0 MAC Cell with MAC controller
  • Fronius TPS4000 power supply with CMT (Cold Metal Transfer)
  • ABB IRB1600ID robot and IRBP R-300 positioner
  • Abicor Binzel TCS-6 PP Torch Cleaning Station
  • Cognex 2D barcode scanner
Fixturing
  • Custom engineered quick change fixture.
  • Fixture featured design elements to reduce weld induced stresses that if not taken would have increased cracks and warping in the product.
  • Accommodated 10 different sized loops.
  • Spatter shields were used as a layout template for changeover and were coated with a nonstick finish.
  • Barcodes were riveted to the spatter shields so the cell automatically pulled up the correct program without operator intervention.
Final Project Outcome

Final Project Outcome

Productivity: Compared to an existing robotic welding cell, the customer saw an increase in production of ~55%

Quality: In addition to productivity, the amount of scrapped or reworked parts, due to burn through and cracked welds, dropped from roughly 35% to less than 5%.

Uptime/ Maintenance: The cell achieved an OEE of 92%.  Additionally, scheduled PM took considerably less time.

Changeover Time: <5 Minutes

Other: Customer is ordering a second cell