ABB automates welding for Shelbourne Reynolds

Posted on 20 May 2014 and read 1167 times
ABB automates welding  for Shelbourne ReynoldsAn ABB robotic welding cell (www.abb.co.uk/robotics) is now being used by Suffolk-based Shelbourne Reynolds in the production of its range of articulated hedge-cutting attachments for tractors. Handling the several hundred welds involved each time, the specially adapted FlexArc cell has cut welding process times by 66%.

Installed as the latest step in a drive to automate the customer’s factory, the cell is used to handle the more difficult and time-consuming welding tasks. In addition to the hedge-cutting attachments, it is being used on a grain stripper and on sub-assemblies for combine-harvester headers.

Manufacturing manager Michael Scarfe says: “The decision on which tasks to automate with the robot was based on the amount of time they took compared to the existing process — and the potential savings that could be achieved. For this reason, we introduced a cut-off point, whereby anything that previously took an hour or more to weld was allocated to the robot cell.”

In addition to cutting welding times by a third, the cell is able to perform complex welds — such as those involving pipes and tubes — to a much higher aesthetic standard than before.

“Circular interpolation processes involving welding around tubular objects can be a challenge for even the most skilled manual welders, particularly when time is of the essence. The robot cell is able to handle these processes at a much faster rate, producing consistently strong, high-quality and visually pleasing welds.”

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