Robotic Welding vs Manual Welding
To meet the demands of the welding process, robotic welding has emerged as an important advancement. When it comes to robotic vs manual welding, each technique has specific pros and cons. So how does each process work, and what are their advantages? Here’s what you need to know.
So what is robotic welding? Like it sounds, robotic welding is when robots are used to automate the welding process. There are two types of robotic welding: fully-automated and semi-automated. With fully-automated robotic welding, the robots guide the metal through the entire process. With semi-automated robotic welding, a person loads the metal and then unloads it when the process is complete. There are several pros of robotic welding, including:
- Increased output: Robots work more quickly and accurately than humans, and they can also complete multiple welds simultaneously, resulting in increased productivity and output.
- Improved quality: Robotic welding is an extremely reliable process with high-quality results. Robots perform tasks with exact precision that is repeatable and therefore highly consistent and efficient.
- Safety: Welding environments are often harsh and filled with toxic fumes. Robotic welding helps eliminate the dangers to employees.
- Less waste: The efficiency and accuracy of robotic welding means that less material is needed and wasted during the welding process.
- Reduced costs: Robotic welding of either type means fewer human workers to pay.
There are some disadvantages to robotic welding as well, including:
- Lack of flexibility: Robotic welding works well for simple, repeated tasks, but it is not nearly as adaptable as manual welding. When you need to change what you’re welding, the robots need to be reconfigured, which takes money and time.
- Dependence: If your company is dependent on robotic welding, it can be highly problematic if there are technical issues with the robots.
- High cost: You won’t have to pay as many human workers, but you will have to pay high upfront costs for initial setup and maintenance.
Overall, robotic welding works best for increased output of simple, repeatable welds.
Manual welding — the process of humans performing the welding tasks instead of robots — is still a popular and effective process. The advantages of manual welding include:
- Flexibility: Humans are much more adaptable than robots and can handle different types of welds.
- Awareness: People will notice if there is a machinery malfunction, but robots will just keep working.
- Interchangeable: If one of your employees is absent from work, another can fill in. In comparison, if a robot isn’t working, it will need to be repaired before manufacturing can continue.
The disadvantages of manual welding include:
- Risk: The welding environment can be hazardous, and a human injury can be serious. A robot cannot be hurt the way a human can, and it can also be repaired.
- Reduced production: Compared to robots, humans complete welding tasks more slowly, resulting in lower output.
- Less accurate: Robotic welding is generally much more accurate than manual welding.
Overall, manual welding works best for welds that are slightly more complicated.