Viewing entries tagged
Fronius

Part count reduction

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Limiting the number of parts required to produce a design saves time, space, confusion, and alleviates jigging concerns.    The upright components of this steel weldment would normally be fabricated from 4 miter cut tubes (8 parts per assembly) which would require a lot of careful alignment and handling of many parts.

Rather than fabricating parts in that way, we machine holes and reliefs for bends which brings the 8 parts down to 2.  Putting a steel tube across a CNC mill also ensures quality of cut squareness, length, and hole position.  Our new bent tube also reduces welding and grinding by 6” (a 25% reduction).

Then, fold it up!

Eat your wheaties.

Eat your wheaties.


When a jig is required for final welding, the laser and brake can make quick work of that.   This jig features easily interchangeable pieces and bolt together construction.

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Robotic Steel Welding

Robotic Steel Welding

Here is a great example of a steel welded assembly at Lean Machine.  It's a steel ring with a strengthening rib welded on.  As the demand for this part has increased we've applied our standard thinking: if an employee is going to do the same repetitive task over and over (and most likely get extremely tired of doing so) then we need to find a better way to accomplish the task.  Our Motoman/Fronius robotic welding cell is always happy to help us automate.

Step 1- Design and build a jig assembly that can make part placement repetitive and accurate.  We've used the Motoman positioner in conjunction with the robot to help keep weld angles consistent.  Consistent weld angles give us good flux gas (CO2/Argon mix) coverage to make sure welds are not contaminated with atmospheric impurities. 

Step 1- Design and build a jig assembly that can make part placement repetitive and accurate.  We've used the Motoman positioner in conjunction with the robot to help keep weld angles consistent.  Consistent weld angles give us good flux gas (CO2/Argon mix) coverage to make sure welds are not contaminated with atmospheric impurities. 

Step 2 - Make the parts themselves better to help with the whole process.  Here you can see slots in the ring so the rib can index itself with tabs.  On the surface, these parts would be much cheaper to produce out of steel flat-bar but we've decided to laser cut them so we can tightly control tolerances on hole sizes and add trick tab and slot features.

Step 2 - Make the parts themselves better to help with the whole process.  Here you can see slots in the ring so the rib can index itself with tabs.  On the surface, these parts would be much cheaper to produce out of steel flat-bar but we've decided to laser cut them so we can tightly control tolerances on hole sizes and add trick tab and slot features.

Step 3 - Write a really great robotic welding program in RobotMaster.

Step 3 - Write a really great robotic welding program in RobotMaster.

Step 4 - Run off parts as quickly as possible!

The resulting weld bead has a good start, nice bead size, proper penetration, and a great crater fill.  With all of the parameters available in the Fronius welders you can "tune out" and splatter so the parts need zero clean-up after the weld process and zero anti-splatter coating.

The resulting weld bead has a good start, nice bead size, proper penetration, and a great crater fill.  With all of the parameters available in the Fronius welders you can "tune out" and splatter so the parts need zero clean-up after the weld process and zero anti-splatter coating.

Heavy Steel Part Fabrication

Heavy Steel Part Fabrication

Laser cut, bent, and welded steel parts to be light post adapters for civic utility use.

 

If you look close there is a great edge finish on the 3/4" plate off our HK Laser

If you look close there is a great edge finish on the 3/4" plate off our HK Laser

Nothing much to say about this photo other than it's an arty photo of our Fronius welding equipment and one of our super skilled welders. 

Nothing much to say about this photo other than it's an arty photo of our Fronius welding equipment and one of our super skilled welders. 

Below is a video of the part being welded. In the middle of the weld you'll notice there is almost no noise and no spatter which is a great thing!   This means that the program we have for the welder to weld 10g plate to 3/4" plate is almost perfect. 

Welding and labour continuous improvement

Welding and labour continuous improvement

Every single day at Lean Machine we work hard to make our customer's parts look better.  Also, we need to continually drive down our internal labour costs.  Our favorite type of part to improve and automate are the repetitive ones.  Every time we are able to automate a process we can re-purpose an employee's position to do something more interesting or increase our capacity.  Below you will find a video of robotic welding on aluminum landing gear as well as some before and after pictures of manual versus robotic processes.

A manual weld on a large arc between 3/8` and 1/8`aluminum plate.  This is a great example of a solid manual aluminum weld using Fronius welding equipment.  This weld is challenging because the employee has to re-position themselves several times to make sure the correct torch angle is achieved as they move around the arc to ensure the shielding gas is protecting the leading edge of the weld pool.

A manual weld on a large arc between 3/8` and 1/8`aluminum plate.  This is a great example of a solid manual aluminum weld using Fronius welding equipment.  This weld is challenging because the employee has to re-position themselves several times to make sure the correct torch angle is achieved as they move around the arc to ensure the shielding gas is protecting the leading edge of the weld pool.

Here is the after picture of the same parts welded together but using an automated robotic welding cell.  The weld has a bit more shine to it mostly due to the perfect torch angle being achieved by the robot`s perfect welding program made directly out of our CAD models.  The weld bead size is also perfect every time. 

Here is the after picture of the same parts welded together but using an automated robotic welding cell.  The weld has a bit more shine to it mostly due to the perfect torch angle being achieved by the robot`s perfect welding program made directly out of our CAD models.  The weld bead size is also perfect every time. 


Fronius Cold Metal Transfer

The only welding machines we use at Lean Machine are all from the Austrian company Fronius.  For our MIG welding, we use both the Fronius TPS and CMT machines.  Our goal is to give our customers more accurate parts.  Accuracy can be tough to maintain when a part is put through a welding process.  The Fronius TPS (Trans Pulse  Synergic)  machines are very good to weld all materials with their special 4 step process of gas pre-flow, hot start, pulsed main current, and crater fill.  The CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) machines are a step up on material thickness under 1/4" since they actually shut the weld arc off between main current wire feed pulses.  The CMT process adds less heat into the material, which results in less weld distortion in the part. This is great technical jargon but the proof is in the results.  As you can see in the picture, on a 2x2x1/8 6061 aluminum tube joint welded with both the TPS and CMT processes the overall temperature is an average of 18degC cooler when welded with the same procedure over the same time period.  These results were repeated 3 times to ensure accuracy.  

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The tube joint was also cut open to check penetration.

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