Weld Inspection: Is Automated Better?

Yaskawa webinar touts robotic assist techniques, but we have questions

A webinar on Tuesday hosted by Yaskawa prompted our consideration of a persistent question: is a new, highly-advertised automated process more effective than its predecessor?

In this case, Yaskawa was touting its automated welding inspection applications. Hosted by Jeff Noruk of Servo-Robot, the manufacturer of robotic assist parts headquartered near Montreal. Noruk discussed the role of arc welding inspection systems, and common types used, before moving on to components and advantages of automated versions of these systems.

“When quality is critical, traceability and inspection have become extremely important for fabricators of all kinds,” Noruk said. “See how new welding inspection technologies compliment robotic welding applications.”

However, this leaves a decent amount up to the imagination—or up to the managerial and operational heads whose job it is to figure out implementing such processes. For example, how does automated weld inspection fit into an overall quality management plan? How is the inspection process configured and operated? Does it operate safely without a person to monitor it present? The immediate concern of webinar attendees was perhaps the most familiar: does this mean jobs for manual welding inspectors are in jeopardy?

Yaskawa says no; contending that the new technology merely streamlines processes that humans already do, and improves efficiency. It then provided examples of real-time inspection for weld defects and surface porosity.

The bright side? Enrollment in technical schools—including these postitions like welding inspectors—is up since the pandemic. In the Atlanta area, Georgia Trade School of Acworth reported the busiest period in its history in September.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: