The robots are aimed at the automotive industry. They can test themselves at pre-determined intervals to check that the tip force is within specifications. This helps to ensure a perfect weld each time.
Manufacturers can prevent scrap, increase throughput, and overcome the risk of damage to expensive hardware because of forces outside tolerance levels.
The gauges are positioned inside a welding cell. This obviates the need to shut down the cell for force testing, allowing greater production. This increased production helps recoup the cost of the gauges in a very short period.
Regular electrode force checking highlights declining performance due to worn or deformed electrodes, worn pneumatic seals, and changes in factory air pressure. By attending to such changes as they occur, damage to expensive linkages and associated hardware is prevented.
Each gauge is comprised of a sensor head, a signal amplifier, and an interface control unit (ICU) to communicate with the robot controller. The ICU has both 4mA-20mA and 0V-10V isolated analogue outputs that can be set up by a simple hand-held or onboard programmer/display. The gauge is housed in an IP65 sealed surface mounting case and allows force set points to be programmed in kg, kN, or lbs.