Category: Industry

FANUC America Features Robotic Plasma Cutting System for Metal Pipe from ARC Specialties


From FANUC America:

FANUC America Authorized System Integrator ARC Specialties designs and builds custom manufacturing machinery and automated systems including systems for metal welding and cutting, material handling, pick and place, test equipment and other custom applications. In this robotic system, ARC Specialties utilizes a FANUC M-710iC/20L robot to perform plasma cutting for 40-foot long sections of metal pipe.

First, a full-length pipe moves from a notched workplate to an automated infeed conveyor system. The automated in-feed conveyor indexes the pipe into the headstock cutting area, where the pipe is automatically positioned into place by chuck jaws. The system has five sets of chuck jaws that can be manually changed to accommodate pipes of varying diameter – from 0.75” to 24” in outer diameter. The six axis FANUC M-710iC/20L robot, equipped with a quick tool changer, picks up either an OAC or PAC torch from the quick tool change station. The robot uses touch sensing, as well as laser sensing to locate the nozzle parts and the pipe.

Once the pipe has been located the FANUC robot proceeds to first make a bevel cut. The headstock contains a robotic aux axis motor package and pop-up turning rolls that rotate the pipe in coordinated motion with the robot as it makes the cuts. After the bevel cut, the robot proceeds to plasma cut small and large holes into the pipe. The robot uses FANUC Constant Path, which allows it to maintain the same path regardless of static or dynamic speed override changes.

The system features simple setup – An operator simply inputs the desired cut dimensions into the HMI, presses the Go button, and the robot executes the cut. ARC Specialties’ cutting software generates robot code to execute the desired cuts based on the operator’s input, and the HMI is able to save and store these part programs. Once the FANUC robot is finished cutting, the pipe parts roll onto a gravity-fed pipe rack where they are removed from a notched work plate and finished pipe rack manually.

FANUC America Authorized System Integrator ARC Specialties transform manufacturing processes into high-quality, high-production and high profit operations. To learn more, please visit


FANUC Robotics Open House in Houston, Texas: October 19th and 20th, 2016

FANUC Robotics in Houston, Texas is hosting an Open House on October 19th and 20th. As an integrator of FANUC Robotics, the team at ARC Specialties will represent the latest in robotic and automated manufacturing technology at this event.

The Technology Workshop will include sessions on ROBOGUIDE/Offline Programming, CNC Technology and General Motion Applications, and CNC Aftermarket Support and Maintenance Overview.

Demonstrations at this event will include:

  • M-20iA/25 with FANUC Flex Gripper 3D Bin Picking
  • New M-900/280 Rigid Robot
  • CR-35iA Load/Unload
  • Robodrill with LR-Mate Load/Unload
  • M-1iA High Speed Battery Handling
  • LR-Mate 200iD/4S Relay Inspection
  • M-20iA/25 with IRVision Fenceless Assembly System

+1 888-FANUC-US

Robotic Hardbanding System

This Robotic Hardbanding System is an automatic welding machine that is used for applying tungsten carbide to tool joints and pipe. The project was completed in Summer 2016, and is available for purchase from ARC Specialties in Houston, Texas.


  • A dry run in the video demonstrates the torch movement during the weld program.
  • Included here is a 3-jaw-self-centering manual actuated chuck.
  • This Robotic Hardbanding System uses touch sense to calculate the diameter of the part.
  • The system then changes the speed of rotation of the part to match that diameter.
  • The laser in this system is used to show where the first bead will be welded on the part.
  • The torch cleaning station automatically cleans the nozzle, applies anti-spatter, and can be programmed to clean at any interval.
  • The carbide refill station includes semi-automatic feeder calibration and a water-cooled carbide nozzle integrated into the torch gas cup.

Robotic cells built by ARC Specialties may be customized with other robotic applications like TIG or MIG welding, plasma cutting, plasma transfer arc welding, and other manufacturing processes.



July 28th | Lunch and Learn | Featuring Talks and Demos on Hydrogen in Shielding Gas, High Deposition Welding, and Welding Contact Tip Life Extension

When: Thursday, July 28th at 11:30 am – 2:30 pmWhere: ARC Specialties, 1730 Stebbins Drive  |  Houston, Texas 77043Cost: FreeRSVP: The first 25 companies to RSVP to will receive a packet of the new long-life contact tips from ARC Specialties on the day of the event.

Introducing ARC Gen-2 Extended-Life Wire Guides & Contact Tips

The first 25 companies to sign up for ARC Specialties Lunch and Learn on July 28th, 2016 will receive a complimentary sample packet of these Extended-Life Wire Guides / Contact Tips. To RSVP for the July 28th Lunch and Learn, please email

Welding Technician / Trainer Bonnie Harcrow-Hall Featured on Front Cover of Opportunity Houston Magazine

Bonnie Harcrow-Hall is Featured on Opportunity Houston Magazine Cover. The Greater Houston Partnership Focuses on Manufacturing in Houston for the Spring 2016 Edition of the Magazine.

Greater Houston Partnership Magazine, Opportunity Houston, Features ARC Specialties in Spring 2016 Manufacturing Article

Greater Houston Partnership’s quarterly magazine, Opportunity Houston, Features ARC Specialties in an overview article that highlights manufacturing in the Houston area. The cover story includes a short history and quotes about how ARC Specialties advances the manufacturing industry.


The full text in the article reads,

ARC Specialties, founded in 1983, specializes in automating manufacturing for the petrochemical world. Currently, the Houston company is focusing on its capacity to build robots for all industries. ARC currently has the power to customize robots from three of the top robot manufacturers in the world, used for a range of manufacturing jobs, from welding to cutting to assembly.

“ARC robots can automated manufacturing using a large variety of applications,” said Lindsay Burck, Marketing Coordinator. “Any kind of welding: MIG, TIG, submerged or plasma arc; any kind of cutting, drilling, tapping, inspection, spraying, gouging, grinding, lapping, assembling and palletizing. But what ARC Specialties is most known for is troubleshooting and solving manufacturing problems that manufacturers may not even know are there.”

“We were recently in a factory and noticed that the manufacturer used eight to ten employees to polish one five-ton ball valve at a time,” Burck said. “This production shop had four to five employees standing on stools holding and directing the polisher above their heads, and needed another four to five employees behind each of them to keep each other from falling.” ARC proposed having the manufacturer use a robot to do the polishing, and custom-built the Robotic Precision Lapping System for it.

“Almost all of the robots built here are custom made,” Burck said. “People know us for proposing solutions in a unique way, and for solving problems that haven’t necessarily been addressed before.” One example, she said, is ARC’s Flexible, Multi-Directional, 360 Degree Robotic Drill and Tap System for Motors, which is a 7-axis robotic system—six axes on the robot: pitch, rotation, and yaw of the wrist, plus the base rotation of robot and two linear arms. “The robot is five times less expensive than the traditional CNC machine tools used for these types of jobs today,” Burck said. She also noted, “It’s also more accurate than the old machining methods. This robotic system can go plus or minus by one-thousandth of an inch.”

Looking ahead, Daniel Allford, President and Founder of ARC Specialties, believes robotics will become 75 percent of ARC’s business—currently it’s 40 percent. “As a machine builder, we recognize that robots are more and more useful,” Allford said, “and comprise more and more of our business, especially as robots become increasingly able to automate processes that weren’t previously feasible to automate.

“It’s ironic,” he added, “that the USA, with its high labor cost, is 7th in the world for total robot usage. The U.S. has one-third the number of robots per employees as South Korea,” he said. “Next to other industrial countries, this shows vast room for improvement in the GDP and other markers of productivity, and we look forward to doing our part.”