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.