A robotic welding cell in action with sparks flying out of it. The lighting of the image is blue.

SKILLED WELDER SHORTAGES

The welding industry is changing. A systemic shortage of skilled welders is driving rapid adoption of robots and cobots across a wide range of applications and industries.  

The American Welding Society has predicted a shortage of 372,000 welders by 2026. In order to adapt to the changing landscape large-scale manufacturers have already transitioned to robotic welding cells.  However their transition was not easy or cheap.  Traditional robotic welding systems drive capital cost, floor space requirements, safety concerns and last but not least they create a need for robot programmers.

WELDING AUTOMATION: ROBOTS or COBOTS

Due to these challenges, many small to medium sized shops, that make up 75% of the 250,000 American manufacturers, cannot afford traditional industrial robots and have been left to face the declining supply of skilled welders alone.  However, recent strides in collaborative robot technology are presenting a new path forward for affordable welding automation.   Thanks to their internal safety sensors, cobot welders can work side by side with humans without needing safety guarding. As a result, these cobots take up less floor space as well as virtually eliminate the dangers associated with current robotic welding systems. They’re also far less expensive than traditional robotic weld cells.

DEMAND FLUCTUATIONS

A single collaborative robotic welding cell is simply less costly and more efficient than hiring additional skilled welders in attempts to keep up with demand fluctuations and project changes. Many small to medium sized companies with low-quantity, high mix operations struggle to compete with high volume operations  where automation is more easily justified. 

Welding cobots get the job done faster, with fewer flaws and don’t take bathroom breaks; a game changer. Weld paths can be manually taught by your experienced welder and then automatically repeated exactly the same, every single time, regardless of who loads the fixture.  

WORKFORCE EFFICIENCY

However, cobots are not meant to replace your current workforce but rather to augment it; someone with welding experience is still needed to oversee the robots.   A single skilled welder can manage multiple welding robots while preserving capacity for projects and tasks  that require more attention and skill. 

This improves the quality of work for your welder and your products.  The robotic welder can perform the routine tasks while your welder’s qualifications are better spent on more important things like setting up the next job, special projects, inspection, or training.

SUPPORTING OUR CUSTOMERS

Marando Industries  has ventured into the fray of collaborative robot welding for all of the reasons listed above.  Our mission is to provide automation solutions that drive productivity, enhance quality, and enable new revenue streams for our customers.    Unlike our larger competitors, we reserve our capacities for local and regional customers so we can provide superior on-site service and support.