OLRP Expert Series:

Welding on Aluminum with OLRP

by Chris Heit, OCTOPUZ Application Engineering Specialist

 

In our last two articles (here and here), we touched on Seam Finding & Seam Tracking technologies and their importance in Offline Robot Programming (OLRP). Recently, we’ve been asked about Seam Tracking on aluminum parts specifically.

Seam Tracking works by measuring variations in welding current while weaving. The welding current will be at a minimum when the wire tip is at the center of a joint. If a seam begins to curve away from a welding path, Seam Tracking will detect an increase in current when it expects a decrease; the opposite is true when a seam begins to curve into a welding path. The robot uses these variation signals to correct its motion/path.

However, Seam Tracking doesn't work reliably with aluminum workpieces. Because aluminum is so conductive, Seam Tracking cannot reliably track the variations in welding current.

How do you overcome this using OLRP? Instead of Seam Tracking, Touch Sensing can be used to make path corrections. Previously, OCTOPUZ was only able to create searches at the first point, first and last point, or every point along a weld.

However, OCTOPUZ 3.0 (our brand new release which we just launched last week) introduces several new features that enable users to have absolute control over the search statements and touch points they are creating. For example, our Manual Search feature lets users specify exactly how many searches a weld statement has, where those searches occur along the weld, as well as the location of each individual search touch point.

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