Acieta Reacts to Labor Shortage With New Cobot Welding Cell

August 25, 2022 by Shawn Dietrich

Acieta has created a collaborative and cost-effective solution to the ongoing labor shortage: a mobile cobot welding cell that takes care of simple and repetitive welding tasks wherever it is needed on the shop floor.

For almost 40 years, Acieta has been installing robotic systems, and today, they are FANUC’s authorized system integrator. With this experience, Acieta has the technical know-how to install, service, and program FANUC robots. Recently, Acieta developed a solution to the ongoing labor shortage by providing welding in the form of a cobot.

collaborative welding cell with FANUC cobot

A look at Acieta's FastARC CW with FANUC's CRX-10iA/L collaborative robot. Image used courtesy of Acieta


Cobot Welding Cell

Automated welding robots have been used in the manufacturing industry for multiple decades, and they work quite well for repetitive welding tasks. Manual welding, on the other hand, is great for when companies need to perform more than one kind of welding tasks. 

The collaborative welding robot combines the best of both worlds: reptitition and variety. With a collaborative welding robot, users can easily teach positions and weld paths without having to know standard programming techniques. Once the weld paths are taught, the cobot simply needs to keep being fed the parts to weld. Welding cobots are also often mobile, making them able to move around the shop floor and perform welding tasks where needed.

In an interview with Control Automation, Integration Manager from Acieta, Andy Wiese, explains that with a collaborative welding robot, the programming interface is all icon based on where these icons can be dragged into place to build a timeline. This timeline makes up the sequence of the robot's path and can keep repeating over and over again.


FANUC collaborative robot, FANUC CRX-10iA/L

FANUC’s CRX-10iA/L collaborative robot that comes included with the FastARC CW. Image used courtesy of FANUC


Acieta's FastARC CW 

Acieta's welding cobot solution, the FastARC CW, comes equipped with FANUC’s CRX-10iA/L collaborative robot and can be wheeled into location and set up quickly to start welding components together. The FastARC’s tabletop comes with slots to facilitate mounting fixtures, parts, or assemblies. 

There is no need for safety fencing because the robot has internal features that will stop the robot if it feels resistance. The lack of safety fencing means this system has a smaller footprint and lower costs than a standard robotic welding cell. 

Once the welding parameters are set and the paths are taught, the FastARC is able to weld consistently all day as long as the welding tip is kept clean and the welding machine has welding wire. 

In regard to the development behind the FastARC CW, Wiese stated that “We set up one of our first FastARC cobot welding cell, we brought our hand welder from the back shop within 10 min we had him creating a weld on a system.”


Operational Costs

Any manufacturing shop, big or small, will always be concerned with the return on investment (ROI). Wiese explains that ROI can depend heavily on the cost of the customer’s automated equipment and how long they run the equipment. If the equipment is lower in cost, the customer may not have as big of an ROI as a piece of standard automated equipment. 

With the FastARC CW welding cell, the idea is that customer’s increase their ROI quicker than other automation solutions. The cell doesn’t require as much automation as alternative solutions, so the cost is lower than a typical welding cell.