Navus Fills Niche For Adaptive Multipass Welding


A crystal clear image from the HD camera during inspection shows 0 inclusions.

Here at Navus, multipass adaptive welding is one of our signature strengths. Having an adaptive process for welding allows us to create higher-quality joints on even the heaviest pieces. Our process has even been successful on joints with over 60 passes.

As Buck Barber, Navus’ General Manager explains:

“The team developed an algorithm that allows the system to adapt to changing joint parameters including width, position, and angle. In a sense, this allows us to hit a moving target. No one has put the technology together to do it quite this way.”

The resulting welding process is quicker, more consistent, and of higher quality.

What Is Multipass Welding?

As the name implies, multipass welding involves making multiple passes in order to weld a joint. However, this type of weld isn’t typically used for every joint you want to make. Instead, it’s reserved for when you have thick sections that need to be welded together. 

It’s also useful for:

  • Making repairs
  • Build ups
  • Surface hardfacing

Another important aspect to note is how often welds are made during this process. It’s usually best to let a weld cool after one pass before making another. 


Click here to download our latest white paper on increasing your productivity with new weld technology!


Implementing Automated Multipass Robotic Welding

Multipass welding can be a time-consuming project, especially in heavy industries. Fortunately, automated processes can help cut down on time. As one of our major clients who use parts weighing as much as 30 tons discovered, our automated systems can cut down on time by around 60%.

For this client, we used six ABB IRB 4600 robots. With three positioned on each side of the workcell and mounted on 30-meter racks, the Fronius GP tandem system makes the final touch for extremely heavy parts. 

We split the robots into two cells, working to perform tasks such as interpass:

  • Cleaning
  • Grinding
  • Removal of impurities that could affect the quality

The system is capable of maneuvering 2-inch steel plates that need to flip four times to complete the welding. The welds must reach an interpass temperature of 200-300ºC, as well as be cleaned between each pass. 

Our client provided information with their modeling software, allowing our engineers to program the parts offline using RobotStudio. This method is essential in order to achieve a project of this magnitude.

In the end, we were able to develop a system that cut our client’s manufacturing process from 28 weeks to eight. This is especially important since it involves creating one of their key components, which also drastically improves their output without any cost in quality. 


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Adaptive robotic welding solutions like these are important for improving consistency and speed. Due to safety regulations, operators are given only a short period of time to work. If an operator has to switch every 15 minutes because of dangerous conditions, a wide gap is created where no value is being generated for the product. With robotics, these gaps are filled and arc-on time is maximized.

Strict ultrasonic testing requirements are needed since testing can’t be completed until the entire joint is finished. Any inclusion found in the root pass will result in the entire welding being ground out in order to be repaired. With automated multipass robotic welding, these occurrences are minimized while higher speeds allow the process to recover more quickly.

Navus — Providing Innovation in Automated Welding Since 1998

At Navus, we have years of experience with research and development as well as an on-staff weld inspector. This helps us to develop innovative solutions to solve the toughest challenges in welding. Whether you need to be able to weld in all positions, welds that stand up to the most rigorous testing, or both, we have the knowledge and experience to create a process for you.

Our solutions for multipass heavy deposition robotics include:

  • A portable robotic work cell for multiple welds in multiple positions
  • Robotic tool changes for single-torch welding, grinding, deburring, and cleaning
  • Remote operating solutions for hazardous environments to prep joints, weld, clean, and inspect
  • A T-beam welding robotic cell that reduces production time by nearly 70%
  • A custom weld cell with six robots to weld and clean odd-shaped 30-ton parts

Are you interested in how Navus can help with your automated welding needs? Contact us today to learn more!


Multipass adaptive welding is one of our signature strengths here at Navus. We have developed an algorithm that allows the system to adapt to changing parameters including angle, width, and position. This allows us to create processes for heavy-industry clients using parts as heavy as 30 tons, cutting down on time by around 60%.

Navus Automation, Inc., is a leading full-service automation integrator. Our world-class team has a reputation for applying ingenuity to solve complex challenges and deliver customized turn-key systems solutions. From concept to completion, Navus provides robotic welding and automation systems built upon our unwavering commitment to excellence, precision, and reliability.


Navus To Speak at National Robotic Arc Welding Conference


Buck Barber, Sales & Marketing Manager for Navus Automation, Inc., will speak at the National Robotic Welding Conference & Exhibition (NRAWC) in Milwaukee on June 7, 2017. The conference highlights the newest tools and techniques for data driven, flexible robotic manufacturing.

Adaptive welding robots have traditionally been employed to handle low skill, repetitive tasks, from a fixed location. But with the tools and features available today for offline programming, sensing, tool changing, and remote monitoring, robotic systems are gaining the flexibility and technology needed to increase a single robot’s range of capabilities.

As an example of those advances in capabilities, Barber’s presentation at NRAWC will reveal how a remotely operated, multi-function robotic work cell makes welding in a dangerous environment more safe and efficient. The unprecedented system is designed to move the robotic welding work cell 100 feet into position in a dangerous environment while the operator works remotely from a safe location. The multi-task robot effectively preps joints, welds, provides inter-pass cleaning, and vacuums welds remotely.

Barber will be representing Navus as one of the featured industry leaders presenting on data driven flexible manufacturing with single or multiple robots, and new advances in optimizing upstream processes. This year marks the 34th anniversary of the conference. The mission of the conference has been to present new and emerging technology in the areas of welding and automation. The conference was unique from the beginning in that it did not have a call for papers but instead featured invited speakers, like Barber, based on cutting edge technologies.

With years of research and development and a certified weld inspector on staff, Navus has developed innovative strategies to meet the toughest challenges. Founded in 1998, Navus Automation, Inc. is an industry leader in full-service custom machine building, welding, and integration solutions. Navus collaborates with many Fortune 500 companies in the automotive, military, agriculture, and consumer industries. Navus engineers provide exceptional robotic solutions for integrated systems that increase productivity, quality, and safety.


Automated Multipass Heavy-Deposition Robotic Welding


One of our major contracts required welding large steel sheets for shipbuilding, which is typically a time-consuming endeavor, especially considering that the parts can weigh as much as 30 tons. However, with a multipass high-deposition robotic welding technique we were able to reduce the overall process time by about 60%.

Six ABB IRB 4600 robots, three on each side of the cell mounted on 30-meter tracks, move along using a Fronius GP tandem system. The robots work within two cells to achieve interpass cleaning, grinding, and removal of any silicate that could compromise finish quality.

The workpiece is a 2”-thick steel plate that must be flipped a total of four times for the completion of welding and cleaning between each pass. The welds require an interpass temperature of 200-300ºC, and cleaning must be completed before each pass.

Our engineers used RobotStudio to program the parts offline based on our client’s modeling software. Digital manufacturing with offline programming is essential in achieving a project of this scale.

With this system, our client was able to cut their manufacturing process from a minimum of 28 weeks to eight weeks for one key component, which reduces the overall build time per set of components by approximately 60-70%. Best of all, the increased productivity doesn’t come with any costs in quality. The robotic system has been qualified to complete UT (ultrasonic testing) class welds.

This project has been key to reaffirming our reputation for applying ingenuity to solve complex challenges and deliver customized turn-key systems solutions.

Founded in 1998, Navus Automation, Inc. is an industry leader in full-service custom machine building and integration solutions. We collaborate with many Fortune 500 companies in the medical, automotive, military, and consumer industries. Navus engineers provide exceptional robotic solutions for integrated systems that increase productivity, quality, and safety.