The Future of Welding Automation: Trends and Innovations

The Future of Welding Automation: Trends and Innovations

The United States is looking at a massive shortage of highly-skilled welders. As many as 400,000 jobs are estimated to be up for grabs by 2024. 

Considering how widespread welding processes are across industries, this is a problem. But, a solution seems to be emerging in the form of automated welding systems.

Robotic welding is not a new concept. It was first introduced in the 1960s. In recent years, innovations such as advanced sensing technologies and easy-to-use programming systems have allowed welding automation to come a long way.

Let’s look at what the future holds for welding automation. 

Benefits of Automation in Welding

An automated welding system may come with a higher initial investment, but in the long run, it has the potential to completely revolutionize the operations of production facilities. Here are some of the major advantages it offers:  

  • More consistent and higher quality welds
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Decreased workload  
  • Less waste and material usage
  • Improved workplace safety 
  • Higher productivity and scalability

Future of Welding Automation 

So, what do advanced technologies have in store for automation? The increased use of robotics and data analytics in welding has contributed to making the process safer and more productive. 

Welding Cobots  

Automation isn’t likely to replace a manual workforce. With the rise of cobots or collaborative robots, however, a skilled welder can work in tandem with a robot to automate repetitive and mundane tasks. While the robot eliminates human error and can work in more hazardous environments, a highly skilled welder can focus on more complicated tasks. A cobot is cheaper than a robot but still offers a high level of efficiency.

VR- and AR-enabled Training 

Training more welders to join the workforce is a time-consuming, risky, and expensive affair. With the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, however, this training can occur in a contained space under expert supervision. At the same time, an organization can use VR and AR technologies to simulate real-world environments, giving welders a chance to practice before taking on more complex projects. Ultimately, these types of training can reduce human error and increase productivity.

Apart from these innovations, organizations can also expect advancements in laser sensing technologies. This will allow them to produce higher-quality welds while giving workers increased access to real-time data and analytics which can help them detect errors and correct welds with ease. 

Forge Forward With nexAir’s Automated Systems  

As with any new and emerging technology, automation comes with its fair share of challenges. nexAir, a leading supplier of welding equipment and industry KnowHow in the Southeast, can help address these concerns.

Since the 1940s, nexAir has been at the forefront of the welding industry. With years of experience, expertise, and top-of-the-line equipment, we have helped several companies focus on what truly matters — productivity and the bottom line. Take advantage of our KnowHow, service, and support, and let’s Forge Forward together.

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