Robotic Arc Welding Fixtures

What is a Robotic Arc Welding Fixture? What are Key Quality Characteristics of a Robust, Well-Built Robotic Arc Welding Fixtures?

[Pictures of Stryver-built Weld Fixtures below]

A robust robotic arc welding fixture is a part-holding tool used to constrain components for welding in an automated system. To ensure the tool can withstand the demands of a mass production environment, typically the fixture needs to be custom built for the welding process. The weld tooling must be built to have adjustability for fixture tune-in to the proper dimensions. Sometimes welding fixtures are used on turnkey robotic cells with built-in rotating positioners, other times custom robotic cells are built to properly complete a welding process for the lowest cost and floorspace usage. A good systems integrator like Stryver will work with you to complete process analysis to determine the best, most cost-efficient welding solution for your parts.

As can be seen by the images below, fixturing a MIG or TIG welded assembly process for robotic welding presents many challenges for the welding jig. A robust, but simple and easy to alter design is critical to building a welding tool that is capable of welding parts correctly for a multi-year lifespan. The weld jig must hold the parts to the callouts on the welded assembly print and allow for all weld points to be accessed with a welding torch mounted to a robot.

Here are some of the key Critical to Quality characteristics Stryver considers when designing and building a weld fixture:

  1. Are all locating features able to be tuned into position in all three axes [XYZ]?
  2. Is each tooling detail made of a proper material to ensure the process can withstand the wear and tear of mass production, while also reducing weight where possible to minimize positioner wear as well as maintenance cost?
  3. Are wear components, like locating pins, made from off-the-shelf components our customers can easily go buy on their own if needed?
  4. How does the operator’s interaction with the weld tooling work throughout the entire cycle?
  5. Does the tooling ensure maximize torch access to welding points, and minimize the number of locations weld spatter can build up on a tool?
  6. Is each and every subcomponent of the welded assembly properly oriented and constrained in the welding fixture according to the datums & locating features on the print?
  7. Is the welding jig designed for quick heat dissipation? This is especially important for MIG welding jigs to minimize the possibility of part deformation
  8. Is proper weld spatter protection installed to ensure parts unloaded from the robotic welding fixture do not require post-welding modifications or repair?

Stryver has over 30 years of experience designing, building, integrating & installing automated welding jigs, fixtures & tooling. Our team has designed & built weld fixtures with fail-safe solutions built-in to minimize the possibility of issues including part deformation due to excess heat, improper fusion, voids, improper weld bead size, missing parts in the assembly, improper part fit-up, spatter build-up and weld porosity. Stryver’s welding fixtures, tooling & jigs are designed to be as compact as possible. Our fixtures and tooling jigs are designed to ensure a controlled welding environment, locking components into place inside the automated jig to minimize deflection with well-designed weld tooling clamping systems.

Stryver has the experience to make sure your tooling fully supports your robotic welding process, whether that process is GMAW / MIG, GTAW / TIG, or another Arc welding process. Stryver can also accommodate laser welding tooling & fixturing projects, which require even tighter part holding tolerances.

Let us put that experience to work for you to overcome these challenges on your project to achieve a successful outcome. Please review our examples below to get a better idea of our tooling designs and strategies.