Marlin’s investments in factory automation have helped us meet incredibly tight parts tolerances time and again over the last decade and a half. Ever since we moved from bagels to Boeing, we have used numerous manufacturing robots to make parts faster and with more precision—freeing up our employees to focus on more cerebral and rewarding tasks that don’t involve back-breaking labor.
Now, Marlin Steel is adding yet another new piece of advanced factory automation to its repertoire—the Lincoln MIG (GMAW) and TIG (GTAW) automated welding machine!
The Lincoln MIG and TIG welder gives Marlin the ability to ship custom metal forms faster, make our manufacturing more consistent, and provide our customers with superior-quality products. You can see the new welding table in action by checking out the video below:
What makes this machine special? Here are a few things about it that make it interesting:
Dual Welding Modes
This flexible machine uses two different kinds of arc welding processes to join metal objects:
- MIG Welding. Metal inert gas (MIG), also known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). This welding technique uses a consumable electrode that can act as a filler material for welds. This is often used for making welds in metals with high melting points where other welding techniques wouldn’t work as well.
- TIG Welding. Tungsten inert gas (TIG), also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). This welding technique uses a non-consumable electrode to pass electricity through two pieces of metal. The metal’s resistance to the current causes it to heat up and reach the melting point so it can be fused with another piece of metal. This is often useful for thin stainless steel pieces.
The ability to switch between two different kinds of welding actions makes the machine highly flexible on the factory floor—allowing it to tackle welding jobs that many other machines can’t.
Laser Touch Sensing
One of the difficulties with many manufacturing robots is that they can’t “track” a work piece like a person can. The machine merely moves its arms to a pre-programmed set of coordinates and performs the operation—regardless of whether or not the work piece is in place. This typically means that the piece being welded has to be precisely placed.
However, the Lincoln welding machine that Marlin uses has a laser touch sensing system installed that negates this particular issue. This system lets the machine search the part that it’s in contact with and saves that location in its onboard memory—it can then offset the placement of other welds based on any deviation in the part’s placement. This helps to ensure high-quality welds each and every time.
Tilting and Rotating Positioning Table
This robot’s welding table can freely rotate and tilt as needed to give the welding arm of the robot free access to any joint it needs to weld. This means there’s almost never any need for an operator to manually reposition the work piece for the robot to weld it.
The benefits of this include:
- Faster Welding. Fewer manual operations mean fewer delays in completing all of the welds needed for a part.
- Safer Welding. By keeping the operator well away from the weld table, the risk of injuries from the flash of the weld or the moving machinery is vastly reduced.
- Improved Weld Thoroughness and Consistency. Fewer manual operations also means less risk of human error. So, it is less likely that a weld will be missed because a step was forgotten or rushed.
If you have any questions about Marlin’s custom steel baskets and trays, contact us today!