Miller invests in next generation of robotic automation

MILLER UK has ‘significantly’ bolstered its manufacturing capabilities through the upgrade of its suite of ‘state-of-the-art’ welding robots.

The firm said the investment in the five new robots will increase production and the safety of its workforce – with the technology said to be delivering 100% weld consistencies on its product range.

The new robots are developed by CLOOS and include two different model ranges, QRC 410-2.0, described as ‘ideal’ for welding attachments for machines up to 45-tonnes and two QRC 350-E models, capable of handling attachments for machines up to 100T.

Miller first invested in its welding robot range in 2018, with the installation of the smaller robots. Recognising the value of these machines, Miller has now installed the latest range of these models with the introduction of two of the larger sized machines which doubles the company’s production capabilities.

Speaking about the investment, James Ross, commercial director at Miller UK, said, “Manufacturing technology has always been a priority and it is very important that Miller continues to invest in the next generation of welding equipment and robotic automation which can transform the quality to consistent market leading levels. This will be recognised by our customers in terms of product durability and performance in the field.

With minimal production downtime required, and the ability to operate for extended periods of time, this has significantly increased our manufacturing capabilities – particularly to produce much larger buckets for extreme applications to meet our demand and significantly reduce our lead times for customers. As such, this allows Miller to have a real competitive advantage in our marketplace.”

The QRC 350-E robot model boasts a range of smart features. Comprising 12-axis movement, including the robot arm, the machine is designed to allow for more manipulation of parts, which increases its versatility and ability to reach more difficult areas on a workpiece. This allows Miller to weld more, whilst reducing the manual labour required once the robot process has been completed.

The tandem and single torch of the machine operate in conjunction with each other with the tandem torch being used for long straight run welds, whilst the single torch completes trickier, harder to reach radius parts. Working in synergy, not only does this increase the speed of the process, whilst reducing weld times because of its high deposition rate, it also reduces heat input decreasing distortion of the workpiece.

Gregg Hudson, global manufacturing leader at Miller UK, added, “The new robot really does step our production capabilities up to the next level. The weld finish achieved from this machine is exceptional – and like nothing else you will see on the market – as we continue to drive our quality standards, which is what we are known for. This is showcased with our demo units at Miller HQ where customers can inspect first hand the quality they will receive.

“It is an exciting time at Miller for our staff on the shopfloor to work with the new machinery and learn the next generation of pre-programming welding automation techniques to operate the equipment, whilst continually developing their manual skills. We have significantly invested in upskilling our workforce with complex technical knowhow to operate our suite of robots and have a dedicated team for collaborative automated production.”