Whether cobots are also the solution to help smaller SMEs with welding automation was also a question that the welding robot integrator from Alblasserdam was concerned with. CCO Pittomvils: "Welding with a cobot is widely presented as super-easy and cheap, but also has many limitations compared to robotic welding. Most welding cobots are now offered as complete cells, complete with welding torch, power source, interface and software. However, the price then comes very close to that of a real welding robot. We see that customers then opt for a welding robot since it offers more possibilities in terms of welding technology, output, future expansion and life span. Programming a welding robot is also becoming increasingly simple."
Turning a cobot into a welding robot is therefore not the right solution to lower the entry level to welding automation, according to the welding robot integrator. "To redo the development process of 30 years of welding robots for cobots is going backwards. We see deployment of the cobot in the welding process rather as a replacement of the manual welder for very simple work. We have therefore developed a solution to connect a manual welder that the customer already has and knows to a cobot. A perfect solution for companies that already have welding machines and want to automate at a low investment," Pittomvils explains.