Category: Industry News

“Collaborative Robots: What are they and when to use them.” AWS Houston

On Wednesday, October 16th at 7:00 pm, Dan Allford lead a session at AWS Welding Houston.

Collaborative robots or cobots are designed to be safe to work near people.

This unique feature opens up new applications for robots. One of these areas is welding and plasma cutting. Using case studies, Dan discusses where cobots might be applied and where they should not.

Download the Presentation

“Why Robotics: How to Ensure Your Project Makes Economic Sense” – 2019 AWS Welding Summit


On Thursday, August 30th at 11:00 am, Dan Allford lead a session at AWS Welding Summit 2019.

“When correctly applied robots save money and improve quality. When misapplied the robot becomes an expensive dust collector. Using case histories Dan will discuss how to determine when and if a project is economical to automate. Topics include initial robot cost, programming costs, filler material savings, safety, part accuracy, joint configuration, production volumes and technological competency necessary to succeed.”

Download the Presentation

AWS: Welding Summit 2019

Join us at #AWSWeldingSummit2019! ARC Specialties President, Dan Allford, is presenting “Why Robotics: How to Ensure Your Project Makes Economic Sense”.  #ARCSpecialties #AWS #Welding #Manufacturing #Automation

Engineering 360: Robotics and AI in welding: A conversation with Dan Allford of ARC Specialties

Dan Allford AIPW system

Engineering 360: Robotics and AI in welding: A conversation with Dan Allford of ARC Specialties

Based in Houston, ARC Specialties Inc. is a designer of automated welding solutions. The company recently launched its Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding (AIPW) system, which employs a six-axis collaborative robot arm from Universal Robots (UR), giving it capabilities rivaling that of a “golden arm” expert welder.

Engineering360 got the chance to talk with Dan Allford, ARC Specialties’ founder and president, about its use of robotics in welding. Allford is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS), who holds several patents in the field of welding automation.

Read more on Engineering 360:


The Fabricator: Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System from ARC Specialties combines AI, sensors, and cobot

The Fabricator AI Pipe Welding

The Fabricator: Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System from ARC Specialties combines AI, sensors, and cobot

ARC Specialties has developed the Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System (AIPW), which incorporates the 6-axis UR5 collaborative robot arm from Universal Robots to carry out full-penetration, single-sided, V butt pipe welds. The robot arm is portable but allows full freedom of motion for the laser scanner and welding torch.

Read more at The Fabricator:


The Fabricator: Could GTAW hot-wire go mainstream?

The Fabricator Article

The Fabricator: Could GTAW hot-wire go mainstream?

Consider an automated pipe welding application. Most likely you’d use a wire-fed gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process for the root pass, then stop and switch to a flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) or submerged arc welding (SAW) process for the fill and cap passes. You’d do this by either moving the pipe to a separate weld station or by swapping out the power sources and torch setup

It’s a common procedure, to be sure, but it does take time. Thing is, why not just keep the automated GTAW power source, wire feed, and torch—and heat the wire instead of using separate processes for the root and fill passes? Why not just use the GTAW hot-wire (GTAW-HW) process? It’s not a far-out notion considering the historical success of GTAW-HW in the oil and gas industry, particularly with cladding.

Sure, this doesn’t apply to certain pipe welding applications, and GTAW-HW can’t outpace the deposition rates of, say, twin or tandem SAW. But it’s really not a simple matter of one welding process outpacing another. Keeping the same equipment for all weld passes in a pipe weld eliminates changeover, simplifies operator training, and takes up less floor space.

Low deposition rates and slow travel speeds have been GTAW’s Achilles’ heel. Across manufacturing, if a plant has automated its GTAW, via robotics or otherwise, it’s likely because stringent weld quality requirements demand it and throughput requirements are too great for manual processes. But GTAW need not be slow, and therein lies GTAW-HW’s true potential.

Read more at The Fabricator:



Texas Business Radio_Dan Allford


Jay Curry: Hello, Texas. Welcome to Texas Business Radio. Wow, we’ve got a great program. We’re going to be talking about robotics. We have some experts. We have some companies that have been implementing them. This is going to be a fun hour, and I’m excited to be here.

All right, let’s get started. Our very first guest is a dandy, Dan Allford, who is the president of Arc Specialties. You talked about somebody that knows, I mean really knows robotics, Dan’s the man. Dan, thanks for joining us.

Dan Allford: Appreciate this opportunity to be here.

Jay Curry: Well, this is going to be a lot of fun, so let’s start with just tell us about what Arc Specialties all about.

Dan Allford: Arc Specialties is a robot integration company here in Houston. We’ve been doing this since 1990. What an integrator does is they take a robot and applies it to a specific problem that a customer may have. That may be welding, painting, grinding, whatever, inspection, because a robot alone won’t solve the problem, and that’s when you bring the integrator in.

Watch at Texas Business Radio:


Houston Chronicle: Making robots creates jobs at Houston company

Houston Chronicle Dan Allford

Houston Chronicle: Making robots creates jobs at Houston company

Here’s the most important thing to know about robots: Humans make them. And the humans who make the best robots make a lot of money.

We hear a lot about losing jobs to robots, but we’ve been through technological revolutions before. More than half of Americans worked in agriculture before the Industrial Revolution, while today less than 2 percent produce most of our food. Humans are tool makers, and eliminating manual, rote and thankless tasks is in our genes…

Read the full article at the Houston Chronicle: 


Industrial Safety Essentials: How to Eliminate Chances of Hydraulic Press Related Accidents

Machines from days of the industrial revolution made modern, massive-scale manufacturing possible for the first time. Although the classic hydraulic press has gone through multiple changes ever since its inception near the end of the 18th Century (1795), it still continues to be one of the most fundamental equipment in manufacturing facilities.

Royalty Free Photo

Unfortunately, something that has been precisely designed to provide incredible crushing power, also comes with some very real and graphic dangers. To keep yourself and your employees safe, read on as we discuss a few effective safety tips to protect against hydraulic press accidents that are not yet as uncommon as they should be.


In order to be safe, it is important to invest in high-quality hydraulic press safety equipment such as ejection curtains, anti-restart motor control units, push button stations, ballistic blankets, gloves and face masks to name a few.

Which ones you need and which products will suit a particular hydraulic press the best, will vary. Get to know the make, model, strength, power requirements, projectile potentials, etc. first, in order to be able to buy exactly the kind of protective gear your employees will need.


Before anyone even starts the hydraulic press, it is necessary for every one of them to conduct a small inspection routine first. It must be made mandatory to check both the press and the safety equipment every single day for damages, leaks and malfunctions, before work can begin.


The hydraulic press can be divided into the following broad categories:

  • Movable table press
  • Movable frame press
  • Air operated press
  • Double acting press
  • Manual press

Each of these have specific uses and require adequate safety precautions, but the last one, that is the manual hydraulic press, is not useful in industrial manufacturing anymore today.

Operative training is necessary to operate any hydraulic press, but advanced training will also be necessary, if the factory just received a new model. Even subtle changes in how the powerful machines operate can lead to accidents, if the operator isn’t properly acquainted with those changes.


When metal, glass, wood, etc. are pressed with the tremendous crushing force of a hydraulic press, projectiles are common, and unless the entire operation area is properly guarded with an ejection shield, any shrapnel from the crushed metal can hit anyone in the vicinity. When that happens, injuries are often fatal or severe at the very least. It is for this very reason that environmental awareness while operating hydraulic presses, or even while working near them is crucial to safety.


Another understated danger that can occur during press related operations often occurs during the loading or unloading stage. If the material is slippery/hot/cold/sticky/heavy there’s a chance that it will fall off and injure the loaders.

To prevent such an accident, manual loading should be avoided for heavy materials, while gloves are to be used while loading and positioning everything else.

Injuries and fatalities in a factory are neither good for a business, nor does it do anything to boost employee morale. As an employer, it is your duty to provide a safe working environment for everyone, so do everything you can to avoid any gruesome tragedies from ever occurring.