Online from: 1973
Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering
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Article citation: , (2011) "Automated weld seam removal system promises removal rates over 20 times faster than manual grinding", Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Vol. 38 Iss: 4, pp. -
Pushcorp’s latest portable automated Tracked Weld Shaving system rapidly removes weld beads above a panel surface, without cutting into the parent metal. The TWS91 offers vastly reduced production times by promising removal rates over 20 times faster than manual grinding. Quality and safety are also significantly improved, while airborne contamination is reduced.
The TWS91 system available in the UK from Derby-based TIA, comprises five major components; the track, the drive carriage, the weld shaver, the control umbilical and the control console. The drive carriage moves the weld shaver along the track, under the supervision and control of an operator using the control console. The control console is connected remotely through the control umbilical, keeping the operator at a safe distance from the shaving operation. The entire system is portable and can be moved to different locations for different jobs (Figure 1).
The track attaches to the steel panel workpiece positioned in almost any orientation using eight rare earth magnets. Track sections are available in either flex or high-flex versions to accommodate panel curvature. With conformance to bend radii of up to 10 m being possible, fewer track sections need be utilized. As the drive carriage travels along the track it moves the weld shaver over the weld seam and also provides the compliant force to keep the weld shaver in contact with the workpiece. The drive carriage is driven by a gear-reduced servo motor with closed loop feedback. This allows the user to easily control and monitor the desired feed rate.
The weld shaver is available in three versions, differentiated only by their cutting width. The version best suited to the width of weld seam to be removed – which can be up to 59 mm – can be installed on the drive carriage. The weld shaver uses a series of slotting cutters with standard carbide inserts driven by a high-torque servo motor. Using a servo motor allows the cutting speed, which can exceed 36 m/h, to be accurately set and monitored, and the cutting effort to be monitored.
The control console allows the user to completely control and monitor the weld-removal process from a safe distance. It displays cutter speed, cutter effort, carriage speed (feed rate), carriage effort, applied pressure and retract pressure. It has controls for enabling the drive carriage and the weld shaver, and setting the cutter speed, carriage speed and orientation. The control umbilical carries all air supply lines, control and power cables from the drive carriage to the control console, protected within a crush resistant, fire retardant outer tube.
The TWS91 system was developed in conjunction with a US Navy Metalworking Center Project to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of manual grinding done during construction of the Navy’s next generation of warships. It is now being used in wind turbine, nuclear and aerospace as well as other marine applications. More information about the weld shaver and Pushcorp, Inc. is available on: www.pushcorp.com/Products/tws91.htm