CAR-W for Multi-pass and CAD System Extension
- Wolf Robotics, LLC
- HII-Newport News Shipbuilding
- GD-Electric Boat
- Siemens PLM Software
November 2018- November 2019
NSRP ASE Investment: $1.2M
Industry Investment: $986K
The primary focus of this project was to produce significant advancements in robotic manufacturing capabilities that directly benefit the U.S. Navy and commercial shipbuilding industries. Current Computer Aided Robotic Welding (CAR-W) path planning algorithms developed under the previous NSRP project, have demonstrated the ability to provide revolutionary time and cost savings compared to traditional robotic programming techniques by leveraging the wealth of information stored in available 3D product (CAD) models. This innovation presented new opportunities for shipbuilders to leverage the benefits of robotic automation without the costly maintenance of a substantial programming workforce, while also providing the flexible, lean, manufacturing capacity required by low-volume production.
The broad potential application of CAR-W driven manufacturing within the U.S. shipbuilding industry also provides the opportunity to capture the valuable process knowledge of the aging welding workforce in a controlled digital format. Once captured, existing weld process data (procedures) can be disbursed throughout an organization for on-demand robotic application to new products. Incorporation of CAR-W robotic automation into shipbuilding operations promises to provide substantial economic advantages, with a short-term goal of reducing the shipbuilding costs and lead times for U.S. defense ships, and long-term goals of providing the proving ground for technology transfer to significantly influence the global competitiveness of other U.S. industries. Industries poised to benefit significantly from this technology include the commercial shipbuilding segments, barge construction, oil & gas offshore platform construction, defense land vehicle production, and the steel fabrication and bridge building industries, among others.
The proposed addition of multi-pass welding capabilities outlined in this project, further alleviated shipyard labor requirements for active manual welding and the resources necessary to support robotic welding by enabling automation of highly labor-intensive welding applications for heavy plate.
KEY DELIVERABLES / BENEFITS
- More “arc on” time per day than manual welding
- Improve welding efficiency and decrease wire consumption
- Automate programming and process planning
- Automate 20% of welding volume with robotics
- Reduce scrap, rework, and over-welding associated with manual welding
POINT OF CONTACT: Jeff Penoyer | Wolf Robotics, LLC | firstname.lastname@example.org
Request Final Report from NSRP– Distribution authorized to project participants, NSRP ASE Program representatives, and U.S. shipyards.