Consistency and productivity are the ultimate goals of every material testing laboratory, and thanks to technological innovation, robotics can help facilitate these objectives. In the informative whitepaper “Introduction of Robotics to Material Testing Laboratories,” robotic and automation integrator ARC Specialties explains how robotics were used to optimize two different applications, maximizing the effectiveness of lab testing processes.
Led by automation visionary and President Dan Allford, ARC Specialties specializes in custom automated welding, cutting and machining systems. Looking to both improve throughput and separate ARC’s subsidiary—Welding Consultants LLC (WC LLC), a material testing laboratory specializing in weldment testing—from its competition, a welding and cutting robot designed by ARC was integrated into WC LLC’s infrastructure.
There are many complex variables and specifications in welding filler metal qualification testing; thus, it’s imperative to have testing that truly represents the product. With the introduction of the ARC robot, WC LLC now has the capability to simply program start and stop points and repeat the same weld on each new test plate with no risk of error or inconsistency. Guaranteeing repeatable and accurate test results, it is anticipated that robust robotics will become an integral part of how material testing labs operate, ensuring better operations and bottom lines.
The ARC cutting robot was also applied in another WC LLC application—the mechanical testing of pipeline samples, which are studied to identify failure or performance issues. Prior to using robotics, this was a cumbersome task requiring thermal cutting by hand, saw-cutting to specific sizes and machining for the final test specimen. Now, using a plasma arc cutting (PAC) torch which extends from the ARC cutting robot, sawing processes are eliminated, and test areas can be removed in precise locations with accuracy that was previously impossible, allowing samples to go directly to final machining.
These two specific case studies strengthen the case for robotics in material testing labs, offering an innovative solution to deliver increased productivity, consistency and quality in unconventional, low-volume applications for a wide variety of industries.
To find out more about how robotics facilitated precision and throughput in these scenarios, read the complete whitepaper.