TPT May 2024



Preparing for the future with smart robot tube welding technology

Pursuing progress and innovation in consultation with the customer, Austrian company Anton Paar manufactures high-precision measuring devices for a wide range of industries. Its dedicated research, engineering and production teams aspire to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Today, Anton Paar GmbH is a leader in density and concentration measurement, rheometry and the analysis of dissolved CO 2 . A growing shortage of skilled workers and ever-increasing quantities call for intelligent production solutions, so the company invested in a latest generation robotic welding cell. Up until now, all components of the measuring and control devices Anton Paar produces in Graz, Austria have been welded by hand. This was because robotic welding systems were deemed uneconomical for small batch sizes between one and 400 pieces. Ongoing sales growth, the increasing shortage of skilled workers in the domestic job market and innovative robot technologies – which now make automated welding economically viable even for small batch sizes – prompted the high-tech company to invest in a modern robotic welding system. The measurement and control specialists at Anton Paar were looking for flexibility all along the line, combined with a high degree of cost effectiveness. This meant flexibility in terms of the number, shape and size of the components, in their positioning, and in the use of different welding processes.

Oscillator housings are welded on pallets using the CMT process; coordinated movement sequences of handling and welding robots

Dominik Santner, COO at Anton Paar GmbH, said: “The shortage of skilled workers and ever-increasing quantities call for new solutions in production. The new robotic welding cell represents a huge step towards automation of our manufacturing. If we were to weld our process sensors manually like before, we would encounter huge difficulties achieving the planned quantities in the coming years.” Autonomous welding From the outset, the emphasis has been on system autonomy for Anton Paar. Once set up, the welding system needed to be able to process a complete order from start to finish in a single pass. For example, welding a batch of different objects such as oscillator housings, main carriers or counter coolers. And the system had to be able to do this completely independently and without the intervention of welding specialists. A range of factors made designing the system especially challenging for engineering and programming teams, including components of various shapes, weights and sizes, different gripping, positioning and storage possibilities, the option to use two different welding processes (TIG and MIG/ MAG) on a single component, as well as the use of forming gas to protect the components against tarnishing, which is necessary for cylindrical bodies. “We were looking for a reliable partner who was very similar to us in terms of precision and quality. We wanted someone who would really listen to us, respond to our preferences, and propose sustainable solutions. A partner that would give us a competitive edge for years to come,” explained Daniel Moik, department manager for joining technologies. “Fronius International met these criteria for a sustainable partnership. In close cooperation with our technicians, the welding automation team developed a robotic welding cell that meets

Daniel Moik carries out a

visual inspection of a fully welded oscillator housing

A pallet is created on the touchscreen of the HMI-T21 RS


MAY 2024

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