Manufacturers today have a choice between using two main types of robotic welding guns: conventional or through-arm. Conventional welding guns are located at the very end of the robot and have been the dominant type of welding gun for many years. A through-arm welding gun is different in the fact that it’s positioned so the robot cables can run through the arm of the robot instead of above it.
In recent years, the trend for many manufacturers has been to move towards using through-arm robotic welding guns because of the several advantages they bring to welding applications.
The Benefits of Through-Arm Robotic Welding Guns
Along with cable management benefits, the through-arm robotic welding gun is particularly well-suited for use in tight spaces. The through-arm design facilitates a more compact welding robot, making it more nimble when working on small parts and in small spaces.
Further, through-arm welding guns are easier to deploy. Because there’s no loose cable to account for and a more compact design, offline robot programming and simulation is straightforward, significantly streamlining the integration time period.
Through-Arm Robotic Welding Guns Allow for Simplified Cable Management
With the cable running through the robot arm, it does not whip back and forth during quick robotic movements. This drastic movement can damage the cable or shrink its effective operating lifespan, creating higher levels of downtime for repair and higher costs for replacing the cables. Through-arm robotic welding guns increase the durability of robotic cables and facilitate simpler robotic movements.
Through-arm robotic welding guns also make selecting the right robotic cables much easier. This is a common problem among manufacturers that can cause unscheduled downtime. Cables that are too long can cause wire feeding issues while those that are too small can fail prematurely. The through-arm robotic welding gun dictates the exact size of the cable required, eliminating this issue for manufacturers.
Manufacturers have been trending towards through-arm robotic welding guns for the past few years. While they’re not the ideal solution for all applications, they can bring a number of advantages in the right environment.
To learn more on this topic, read about robotic welding integration services from Genesis Systems, an IPG Photonics Company.