The fully digitised, servopneumatic welding gun controller from Festo is keeping pace with Industry 4.0. It simplifies commissioning and maintenance, minimises compressed air consumption and is compact too.
The hardware concept of the servopneumatic welding gun was developed by Festo in close cooperation with experts from the automotive industry. This enabled Festo’s product developers to take many of the features required by the industry into consideration – including the reduction of the envelope because the servopneumatic system is considerably more compact than comparable welding actuators. Users can now install and operate the electronic and pneumatic sections of the control system either as a single unit or separately, in line with their requirements and the application. This makes the system significantly more flexible, and leads to the various concepts for mounting on robots.
The results count
Measurements carried out by Festo on many thousands of welding points with a welding force of 3000 N have revealed that the results of the latest generation of the company’s servopneumatic welding gun never deviate by more than 50 N. It also has accurate compensation performance. The measurements showed that the accuracy of the weight force to be compensated is many times higher than it is with electric or standard pneumatic technologies.
And thus even the smallest of loads have an effect on the steel sheets, regardless of the welding gun’s position in 3D space. In addition, the ability to freely position the electrode arms and the variable settings for the electrode force mean that the electrodes can be placed bounce-free. This is also the case with repositioning when the material begins to flow. All of this leads to high quality welding results.
Reliable and simple
No cables are needed for controlling the proportional valves, because with the new V2.0 welding gun controller the system components communicate via a CAN interface installed on the back panel. The servopneumatic welding gun thus gets high scores when it comes to safety, because there is no risk of getting caught up in a cable.
Digitisation increases availability
The system is fully digitised and ready for Industry 4.0. All product information is stored in the individual components such as the controller, the valve and the measuring system, and can be read by the host system. Completed work cycles are also recorded in each component. This function makes predictive maintenance possible. Process reliability as well as the availability of machines and systems are thus increased. At the same time, digitisation provides access to diagnostic data. Easy maintenance ensures that the user is able to detect wear at an early stage.