Welders and Robots: How Technology Leads to Enhanced Performance

Leveraging technology in the manufacturing industry is critical to producing quality products while keeping Team Caterpillar safe. In the welding space, facilities all over the world have deployed welding robots to make the manufacturing process efficient and safe.

Perhaps one of the biggest innovations in manufacturing is the use of robots. Did you know Caterpillar has welding robots all around the world? While Caterpillar has a long history of using high-tech industrial automation solutions, robotic manufacturing really hit the scene in the 1980’s with the boom of the automotive industry. 

Welding is perhaps one of the toughest jobs in manufacturing. While welding is a rewarding career, it demands specialized skills, requires rugged equipment and creates a hot environment. Since the 1980’s robots have been used for welding the large structures at the core of our machines. These robotic welding cells help keep us productive and welding consistent, smoothing sections along large parts over extended periods of time. As sensor and vision technologies have advanced, so have the capabilities of our automated manufacturing systems. These robots weld accurately with long arc times, allowing our skilled welders to focus on applications that require increased dexterity and technique in order to make our products strong, durable and rugged.

Robots are not a replacement for skilled labor – not then and not now. It’s simply one way we can use technology to improve the way we work. Today, Caterpillar uses a relatively new mobile robotic technology called collaborative robots or cobots. Cobots have been designed to provide specific support for operations such as parts feeding and unloading. They can go where humans can’t and provide more flexibility than conventional industrial robots. Extending cobot technology into our welding applications will allow our weld technicians to have more flexibility on the line while improving both quality and efficiency. 

Caterpillar is investing in our future because manufacturing is at the core of industry, innovation and progress. Our talented team of manufacturers, quality technicians and engineers are leading the way. Are you ready to do the work that matters?