Robotics and automation have been a staple of welding processes since they were first introduced in the 1960s. Known for their ability to create quick, accurate, and consistent welds, automated processes have revolutionized the operations of several industries — including the crucial aerospace sector.
Robotic welding systems are routinely employed in the aerospace industry, as they can reduce human error, take over repetitive tasks, and boost production levels.
This has led to some fears that robots will take over the jobs of manual welders. But, we assure you, this is far from the case. Instead, we’re seeing both human skills and robotics work in tandem to help the industry Forge Forward into the future.
Why Robotics are Popular in Aerospace Welding
A company operating in the aerospace sector can reap several benefits from automating its welding processes. Such as:
The aerospace industry works with a unique set of materials that must be both lightweight and high-strength. Furthermore, these metals must be both corrosion and heat-resistant. This makes consistency in welds of different materials a priority.
At the same time, the stakes are much higher, as even a slight miscalculation or incorrect weld can have catastrophic consequences. With robotic systems, companies operating within the sector can benefit from durable and consistent welds that always match a specified standard, free of human error.
Improved Worker Safety
Welding isn’t without its share of risks. This is especially true in the high-stakes aerospace environment. During the welding process, workers may be exposed to toxic fumes and radiation or at a higher risk of shocks and burns. Robots can reduce these risks by taking over more dangerous processes.
A robotic system doesn’t need sick days, weekends, or fixed working hours. Since it can produce strong and reliable welds around the clock, the aerospace industry can speed up the manufacturing process, saving both time and money.
What Human Skill Offers Aerospace Welding
That said, we can’t count human skill out just yet — especially in an industry as complicated and challenging as aerospace. Here are some areas where manual welders come in:
Creating Complex Designs
While a robotic system can be used to scale up manufacturing and take over repetitive tasks, the aerospace industry relies on a lot of complicated systems, expertise, and KnowHow. Robotic systems can free up time for humans to focus on tasks that require more creativity and lateral thinking.
While an automated system can carry out a task assigned to it, it still requires a manual welder to operate it, craft blueprints, and input commands. Highly skilled workers are increasingly being trained to work with such automated systems — inspecting parts, carrying out maintenance, and ensuring quality output.
Robots may be more capable of collecting large amounts of data related to a specific process, but a human is still required to interpret this information. At the end of the day, human employees will always be better at problem-solving and decision-making, which are essential to industries with such complex processes.
Forge Forward with nexAir’s Robotic Systems and KnowHow
As one of the leading suppliers of welding supplies and equipment across the Southeast since the 1940s, no one understands the relationship between automation and human skill better than nexAir.
Our robotic tools are transforming operations within several industries, including the aerospace sector. But at the same time, our KnowHow and training programs ensure that professional welders Forge Forward with the best information at their disposal.
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