Weld positioners come in a variety of shapes and sizes built to create the best possible output in the workplace when it comes to welding. Their purpose is to position the product to make a welding job much easier. They also increase safety in the workplace when dealing with heavy machinery. Weld positioners are not only built for and utilized in the heavy machinery trade, but also for applications in the automotive, heavy construction, oil and pipe, and defense industries, among others. Weld positioners are in high demand in the agricultural industry as well. Welding positioners for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) applications are common in the agricultural or equipment manufacturing fields.
Welding is possibly the most complex manufacturing process and may be the least understood. This has led to a shortage of educated employees in this field. For instance, the need for welders with experience all over the world is very high. Positioners help to make the welders you do have more productive. For manual welding, it creates a sturdy base for the welder to work at and places the weldment at the optimum angle for comfort and accessibility. Therefore, the welder can accomplish the task much more quickly. In addition, it saves space in the work area.
Positioners also provide quite a few benefits for a company with regard to automation. They offer an avenue that is very beneficial because automated welding can improve welding quality and increase the overall output. Automation ensures consistency so that every joint is properly and securely welded at the same rate. While there is an initial money investment that goes along with automated welding, in the long run, a company can save a lot of money and time by making the investment.
Types of Positioners
Since weld positioners have become a recognizable tool in workplaces to increase productivity, positioner manufacturers have developed a variety of designs to help accomplish the job or task at hand, such as sliding tailstock trunnions, ferris wheel positioners, five-axis positioners, L-hook positioners, and dual trunnion turntables.
Sliding tailstock trunnions offer a floor-mounted headstock utilizing precision-bearing, high-quality alloy pinion and large tool mounting plates. Multiple payloads are accommodated quickly and precisely by means of adjusting the tailstock mount to a servo-driven rack and pinion slide. These positioners are coordinated with a robot by means of the robot’s auxiliary axis.
Ferris wheel positioners come ready to integrate with the robot of your choice. Ferris wheel positioners have a 16-ft-long horizontal exchange axis to minimize station footprint while accommodating longer parts. A metal arc screen divider creates a barrier that safeguards the operator from arc flash. Ferris wheel positioners are very versatile as they can handle longer parts while requiring a lesser amount of floor space than other workholding methods.
Five-axis positioners provide an ergonomically friendly positioner height. They give you the flexibility to rotate your work, providing access to difficult-to-reach areas. With a five-axis positioner, an automated project can be welded in the 1F position instead of being welded horizontally and having the weld spread, which results in a weld that isn’t as solid as a weld performed in the 1F position.
A drop center positioner can handle demanding jobs that most other positioners can’t, such as extremely heavy and long parts. While commonly used in the agricultural industry for GMAW applications, drop center positioners have proven to be reliable for use on any kind of weld in any industry.
L-hook positioners are two-axis positioners that utilize a robust, four-point contact with a ball radial bearing and pinion with 360-deg rotation on both the main and the table axis. L-hook positioners are mostly used for agricultural equipment. Cab assemblies are put on L-hooks because of the angle and range they provide for the product to be GMA welded. In the agriculture industry, L-hook positioners are mostly used for GMAW because agricultural equipment has heavier parts and needs larger machines for bigger jobs.
The dual trunnion turntable positioner (H Positioner) provides an ergonomic positioner height. With this type of positioner, excessive machine evaluation is not required and robot risers are significantly reduced. Dual trunnion turntables are primarily used for GMAW of car and truck frames in the automotive industry.
Weld positioners have proven to be a productive investment for any company seeking more efficient routes in their welding practices. Since weld positioners have become recognizable tools in today’s places, manufacturers have developed different variations to accompany manual or automated welding tasks. While automated welding can be a costly investment for businesses, it can save money in the long run because of the efficiency and punctuality of every weld on the path to accomplishing a welding goal.