Automation Components: The 3 Most Important Automation Consumables
No two automation systems are ever the same. Those automation system providers that say otherwise don’t have the customer in mind and appreciate the overall process of concept, design and manufacture.
With that in mind, it’s also important to consider the components of different automation systems and what makes them tick.
Like we’ve said no two systems are the same, so if you have a robotic welding system, an end of line packaging solution, or a robot arm tending to a machine the automation consumables are all going to be different.
We know welding and everything you need to make your automated welding system tick so in this blog, we’re highlighting the 3 most important consumables in your welding system.
Automation Consumables: Welding Wire & Tips
If you know welding, then you know the ingredients. Lots of electricity, gas and a conductor. This is where welding wire comes in. Usually connected to the robot on a reel, the wire is fed through an internal or external loom, down through the torch and on to the material. Depending on the type of welding, the wire can be static, pulse or continually fed.
With all of these options available it becomes clear of the importance of welding wire (and welding tips when you’re looking at spot welding). The single piece of contact between automation and material happens to be the most important automation consumable.
Trying to weld without using welding wire is like trying to chop vegetables without using a knife; it just doesn’t work. The minute you run out of welding wire or welding tips is the moment your automation system stops working and your business stops making money.
We always advise having a spare reel of welding wire or two. That way you can avoid any mistakes or running out of material and having to shut down the welding process until you get some more. Automation consumables are so important and welding wire, for a welding system at least, is top of the list.
If your system is applying material of some sort, welding wire equates to this material.
Gas: A Crucial Automation Consumable
If welding wire and tips are the knife of chopping vegetables, then gas is the chopping board. Protecting the welding arc from airborne impurities and other gases in the atmosphere, while also helping to heat up the welding surfaces, the gas forms a shield to ensure a weld of the highest quality.
Imagine chopping your vegetables on your work surface, it would leave horrible marks and create poor quality finishes. Welding without gas is exactly the same. Going hand in hand, this automation consumable is as essential as welding wire and tips because it helps complete the job to the highest possible standards.
Like welding wire and tips, we always advise automation users to have a supply of gas to hand for the inevitable moment when the machine turns on, but there is no gas to protect the weld. If welding wire and tips are the knife of chopping vegetables or the glue of sticking down paper, then gas is something as fundamental as the oxygen we breathe so we can complete them.
Sensor Batteries: Your Safest Automation Consumable
Safety is critical. Without it in place, your automation system is nothing more than an elaborate paperweight. If safety isn’t in place, your machine can’t be used. While a lot of the sensors run off of the main power of the system itself, many things are powered by the tried and tested battery.
All it takes is for one battery to be out of juice for the entire system to be inoperable causing huge delays and expenses for your business. Batteries, like pens, are one of those things you think you always have to hand, but when you urgently need them, all the drawers in the world turn up blank.
When it comes to automation consumables we always recommend having a handful of all sorts of batteries to hand, from AA and AAA to D and C, sensors are powered by a range of types and if not connected to the main power, you’re in for a shock when your system doesn’t start.
Have You Got Your Automation Consumables Sorted?
That’s it. If you’ve got a robotic welding system you already have your list of the essential automation consumables.
In making sure you have welding wire and tips, plenty of gas, and more batteries than you can fit into a domestic drawer, you’ll be ready for all possibilities.