Robotic TIG welding with or without cold wire: 6 considerations

The automation of TIG welding offers great benefits: reduced labour, a consistent and even higher quality, and no longer needing to search for skilled manual welders. However, there are important considerations to take into account. Here are some key points:

1. Precise robot programming is critical to the TIG process.

Although a welding robot forms the basis of the welding process, the quality remains dependent on the programmer. For example, a TIG weld is smaller than a MIG weld, making it more challenging to compensate for a missing tolerance and requiring more precise programming. Programmers must consider parameters such as the distance between the tungsten electrode and the weld pool, and between the tungsten electrode and the filler material. Experienced programmers with knowledge of TIG welding are needed to properly set up these aspects (and more).

2. Your welding robot needs to replace the tungsten tip in time.

The sharpness of the tungsten electrode affects the stability of the arc and therefore the overall quality of the weld. How often you should change the electrode and what constitutes a good margin depends, among other factors, on the quality of the base material. In addition, a starting process option where the tungsten electrode does not need to make contact can reduce the risk of wear. Combined with automated tungsten exchanging, such as Valk Welding's in-house developed tungsten Electrode Exchange System (TEES), the stability and quality of the weld are well maintained.

3. Welding robots offer continuous wire feeding.

Robots add material faster than manual welders, eliminating visible TIG droplet patterns. However, Panasonic welding robots offer a setting to maintain the classic TIG pattern if desired. The unique position of the wire motor, even integrated into the torch with Valk Welding’s Servo-Pull torch, also enables a more stable wire feed. This position simplifies the programming process as there is no welding wire slack in the very short wire liner.

4. TIG welding takes time, even on a robot.

Both manual and automated TIG welding requires more time than the MIG variant, and the programming process also demands more attention. On the other hand, the resulting quality on the robot is incredibly high and consistent, and your competitors will see that too.

5. Operators must continue practicing with the robot.

After an in-house training at Valk Welding, robot operators can start working with online or offline programming on their own. And while training certainly provides a solid foundation, continued practice is crucial to maintaining skills, efficiency and quality. So, get started with programming and stay engaged with your new welding robot at all times.

6. A long-term partnership with your robot integrator is essential.

Automating TIG welding is clearly a process that requires additional skills. An experienced robot integrator with fast, personal service plays an important role in achieving production success. Valk Welding offers reliable Panasonic welding robots capable of both flowing and cold wire TIG welding and has a team of skilled TIG robot programmers to assist you in the programming process. Our team is experienced in DTPS, Panasonic's own programming software, ensuring uniquely seamless integration with the Panasonic welding robot.

Do you need help or advice with automating your TIG welding production? Contact us at info@valkwelding.com for more information.

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