COLUMN AND BOOM MANIPULATOR SYSTEMS (HEAVY DUTY)
PRECISION SOLUTIONS FOR LARGE SCALE APPLICATIONS
AMET’s Heavy-Duty Column and Boom Manipulator systems are designed for welding large parts using high deposition processes such as multi wire SAW or Hotwire GTAW, as well as other processes. We offer a full line of part supporting equipment including turning rolls, turn tables, positioners, and travel carts, which are seamlessly integrated for a complete welding system for virtually any application.
At the core of these systems is AMET’s manipulators. High strength materials and precision rails are used on both axes to provide a rigid and proven system for years of reliable operation.
We specialize in providing weld heads to suit the needs of most projects. Torch tilt, pivot, and lead/lag adjustments are available to provide welding capabilities for most joint configurations.
30+ Years of welding Automation Excellence
AMET manufactures motorized column and boom manipulators with a large range of weight capacities and travel distances.
Manipulator systems have the following general capacities and specifications:
- Weight Capacity: The maximum load that can be mounted to the end of the boom ranges from 300 to 650 kg (660 to 1,400 lbs), depending upon the length of the boom and series of manipulator. Weight ratings are calculated at 300 mm (11.8 in) from the end of the boom.
- Maximum lifting capacity is the rated boom capacity plus an additional 50 kg (110 lbs), as long as the weight is mounted on the opposite end of the boom.
- Stroke: 4, 5, 6, and 7 meter (13.1, 16.4, 19.7, and 23.0 feet) travel lengths for vertical and horizontal axes are available.
- Boom Drive: Rack and pinion gear driven by AC variable speed motor.
- Boom Speed: 300 to 3000 mm/min (12 to 118 in/min).
- Boom Lift Drive: ACME screw drive with dual ACME nuts driven by AC motor with an electric brake.
- Lift Speed: Fixed speed at 1000 mm/min (39 in/min).
- Column Rotation: Features a kingpin with 360 degrees of manual rotation.
AMET manipulator systems offer robust solutions for a wide range of applications with the following benefits:
- The XM Controller is at the center of the system. It integrates into all of the main welding equipment and precision axes of motion for control over welding operations.
- The control components and software are produced in house. This ensures compatibility and also decreases the possibility of obsolescence
- Supports a variety of welding processes including: GTAW, PAW, GMAW, FCAW, VPPAW, VPGTAW, and many SAW applications. Dual process is also available such as GTAW & PAW or SAW & GMAW.
- The large range of motion and weight capacities ensures AMET can provide a manipulator system to suit most project needs.
- Integration of camera systems. AMET offers camera systems for arc viewing (GTAW/PAW) applications and standard cameras for SAW applications. The cameras offer advantages such as aiding in positioning of the weld head and manual seam tracking. This can be especially beneficial on large parts where the weld joint is not easily accessible.
These manipulator systems are highly customizable to meet the needs of our clients. A motorized turntable or positioner can be paired with a manipulator to provide bore cladding or circumferential welding capabilities. For welding larger parts, a full line of turning rolls and growing lines are available. Manipulators can also be mounted to a travel cart for performing longitudinal welds.
Please refer to the Optional Features section for additional features and information.
XM or XPro Controller
AMET’s manipulator systems are designed around the XM or XPro Controller with the following equipment and motion control capabilities:
- Rotation Control – The XM/XPro is capable of integrating with and controlling the following rotary equipment:
- Turn Tables
- Turning Rolls
- Linear Motion Control- The XM/XPro can integrate with and control the following motion devices:
- Vertical Motion: A precision motorized slide can be added to the weld head for vertical torch adjustment. This axis is available with AVC for GTAW and PAW applications.
- Horizontal Motion: A precision motorized slide can be included for cross-seam adjustment. A servo motor can also be added to the boom axis for programmable control. The manipulator can be equipped with a motorized travel cart for performing longitudinal welds.
- Integrates with the welding power supply to control all parameters from the XM/XPro interface.
- Precision wire feeder control can be integrated into the system.
The standard manipulator horizontal and vertical motions are meant to be used for positioning purposes only. They are controlled by a separate handheld pendant with pushbutton operation. Both the horizontal and vertical boom motion can be upgraded for programmable control through the XM/XPro Controls.
"AMET has been a great partner because they are appropriately positioned to act when we need a new solution engineered or need to service an existing solution. In the end the price of a solution is negligible if it works properly, and the vendor can keep it working through their service efforts. AMET knows these things and services their customers accordingly."
- Matrix Drilling Products
"For over 15 years now I have had the privilege of working with AMET. I have personally seen how AMET Inc. industry knowledge and engineering expertise has enabled my business to increase weld quality and production and allow our clients to improve the strength and durability of their products."
- G. Wright's Welding Ltd.
"AMET’s team is exceptional to work with. They look at the provided solution as a whole – from operator interfaces to engineering requirements, they seek to understand the customer’s needs throughout the project. This results in a welding system that is robust, embraced by the workforce, and meets the rigorous requirements of Blue Origin’s vehicles and engines. We’re excited to work with AMET on our vision of millions of people living and working in space."
- Blue Origin
1 The manipulators feature thick-wall steel construction that is thermally stress relieved prior to machining, which extends the life and increases the rigidity.
2. The boom of our Automated Submerged Arc Welding Systems is driven by a variable speed AC motor with a rack and pinion gear drive for smooth in/out motion. Boom speed is 300 – 3000 mm/min (12 – 118 in/min) and is upgradable to a servo motor drive for programmable motion control.
3. Vertical boom motion is delivered by a fixed speed AC motor and ACME screw drive with dual ACME nuts. One nut is used to drive and support the load of the boom. The second nut is included as a backup and works in conjunction with electrical sensors to lock the boom in place in the unlikely event that the first nut fails. The ACME screw and dual nuts ensure smooth up/down motion while also providing a very high level of safety. This drive is upgradable to variable speed or precision motion with a servo motor for programmable control.
4. Cable carriers are included on both axes to extend the life of the cables and hoses. The carriers also keep the cables organized and prevent entanglement during operation.
5. Precision hardened linear rails are included for the entire length of the column and boom motions. The rails coupled with recirculating ball bearing blocks ensure smooth operation throughout the life of the manipulator.
6. The column on these Automated Submerged Arc Welding Systems feature a kingpin for 360 degrees of manual rotation with manual brakes to lock the column into position. A hand crank is included to aid in rotation.
7. A sturdy freestanding base supports the manipulator fixture of our Automated Submerged Arc Welding Systems. Each leg of the base includes a hole that can be used for anchoring the manipulator to the factory floor for additional stability.
OFFLINE PROGRAMMING SOFTWARE
Weld programs can be created, modified, or stored on a PC. These programs can be moved back and forth between the controller and the PC using a USB storage device or through an Ethernet connection. This software can increase productivity by allowing programs to be created/edited while the weld controller is executing another weld program.
AVC FOR GTAW/PAW SYSTEM
An AVC (Arc Voltage Control) Module is added to provide the weld head with automatic arc standoff. The module provides automatic height adjustments to maintain a consistent arc voltage throughout the entire weld, including automatic adjustments on multi-pass welds.
VIRTUAL ALIGNMENT (TEACHING MODE)
The operator can “teach” a weld path by manually moving the weld torch along the seam and selecting points. Up to 20 points can be selected to create a circumferential, longitudinal, or combination weld path. After all of the desired points are selected, the system will retrace each one to create a custom weld path. This can be helpful if parts or materials vary or have unique joint configurations. The path can be repeated for multiple pass welds, or offsets can be applied to repeat the motions of the original path in a new location.
AMET® manufactures a wide range of positioners with weight capacities from 550 to 22,000 lb (250 to 10000 kg). They feature 135 degrees of motorized tilting and continuous motorized rotation. The rotation axis can be integrated with the XM® or XPro to provide programmable control for welding operations. High-precision models are also available with harmonic drive rotation for the most stringent needs. The standard configurations include a fixed base, but an elevating base is also available. Each positioner includes a thru-hole for a gas purge device.
AMET® offers a full line of turning rolls for part rotation with weight capacities from 2.5 to 150 ton. The turning rolls can either be operated independently for positioning purposes or integrated into the welding system through the XM® or XPro Controller for controlled and programmable part rotation.
CAMERA SYSTEM (SAW)
A video camera and cross-hair laser generator are mounted to the weld head to aid in monitoring during welding operations. The video feed is displayed in real-time on the operator console monitor. The camera is also used to aid in positioning the torch(es) during setup.
TRAVEL CART WITH RAILS
Manipulators can be mounted to a travel cart for increased capacity. The travel carts are typically motorized, but are available as non-motorized units for our two smallest classes of manipulators. The motorized travel cart can be operated independently for positioning purposes or upgraded and used as a welding axis for longitudinal welds.
AMET® manufactures fit-up stations for aligning two sections prior to welding. The fit-up stations feature four (4) wheels that are controlled hydraulically. The wheels are divided into pairs A & B and C & D, and there are several options for moving them to accommodate a wide range of applications. The following motions are possible: each wheel can be moved independently (in/out from the centerline), each pair can be moved simultaneously (in/out or side-to-side), or all four wheels can be moved simultaneously. The fit-up station can also be mounted on a rail system and have motorized motion in a growing line system.
The travel cart can be extended for mounting the weld equipment next to the manipulator to keep everything centrally located. This helps eliminate excess cabling and reduces trip hazards.
ARC VIEWING CAMERA
Arc Viewing Cameras can be added to a GTAW/PAW system giving the operator a view of the weld arc from a remote location. This keeps the operator in a safe location and reduces operator stress and fatigue. Additionally, the image that is shown on the monitor is magnified and shows greater detail than what could be observed without the camera. Multiple cameras may be integrated for projects where a view of the lead and trail side of the weld zone is required. Please see the Arc Viewing Camera page for additional information.
MULTIPLE PROCESS WELD HEAD
Our advanced controls allow us to integrate multiple weld processes into one weld head. Each process can be operated independently or simultaneously. For example, a TIG & Plasma weld head would feature two AVC axes (one for each torch) and either torch could operate or they can both operate simultaneously for Keyhole Plasma with a TIG trail. We offer TIG & Plasma, TIG & MIG, TIG MIG & Plasma, and SAW & MIG. Any of these combinations are available and would be completely programmable from ONE central controller. Other combinations are also available. Please contact us with any requests.
Both the horizontal and vertical boom motion can be upgraded with a servo motor and encoder for precise programmable control of the boom. The upgraded motion axis can then be used as an additional welding axis.
DATA ACQUISITION AND TOLERANCE CHECKING SOFTWARE
Data is collected and analyzed in real-time to ensure all modules are within the set tolerances. The data points can be displayed graphically on the display and can also be exported as a .csv file and viewed on a program such as Microsoft Excel. These files can be exported through one of the USB or Ethernet ports on the XM® or XPro Controller.
FLUX DELIVERY AND RECOVERY SYSTEM
The entire system is air-pressurized and heated to provide continuous flux delivery and recovers unused flux to help reduce costs. The system consists of a feed tank, delivery and recovery unit with 5 HP vacuum, and hopper for delivery at the weld head. The hopper is equipped with a valve to allow the operator to control the ratio of new and recovered flux delivered at the weld head.
A precision servo motor driven ball screw slide with encoder feedback provides mechanical oscillation. The oscillation motion is completely programmable including dwell time, oscillation frequency and width, and travel speed.
MULTIPLE WIRE WELD HEAD
AMET® specializes in offering custom weld heads. We offer GTAW and PAW weld heads with two wires. The wire feeders can be synced to operate simultaneously or they can be separated to operate independently. We also offer multiple wire SAW head welds. Up to 10 wire weld heads can be integrated with our control packages for applications such as cladding. Tandem or triple wire weld heads are also available for thick wall welding applications.
AMET® manufactures a full line of high precision turn tables with weight capacities from 550 to 22,100 lb (250 to 10000 kg). We also offer standard version turn tables with weight capacities from 2,200 to 132,200 lb (1000 to 60,000 kg). Each turn table faceplate includes a thru-hole for a gas purge device
Magnetic probe is used to deflect the arc back and forth in a stirring motion for excellent sidewall tie in. The arc can also be deflected and maintained in a set position. This can be beneficial for fillet or otherwise hard-to-reach joints. Dwell time, oscillation frequency, and width are all programmable from AMET® controls. Compatible with both magnetic and non-magnetic materials.
LASER SEAM TRACKING
The XM® or XPro integrate with a laser sensor to scan and track the weld joint during welding. The laser continuously scans the joint profile and makes the necessary adjustments to ensure the torch maintains the programmed location. The scanned profile is also displayed in real-time on the operator console monitor. Seam tracking can be configured for single or multi-pass welds.
SINGLE POINT POWER DISTRIBUTION
AMET® provides fuse-protected power to all system components from a single primary power circuit (provided by customer).
Made of heavy-duty structural steel, girders are typically manufactured and welded using single or multiple wire SAW weld processes. We provide several automated solutions for thick section welding.
OIL RIG COMPONENTS
AMET’s SAW welding systems provide the robust equipment necessary for welding components for deep sea oil rigs. Legs and other components can be welded using single or multi-wire systems.
Blowout preventers require corrosion-resistant overlays of the bores and components to ensure they can withstand harsh oil and gas environments. Our systems and controls provide an excellent solution for BOPs whether your company is the primary manufacturer or performs repairs.
THICK WALL SECTION WELDMENT
Thick wall section welding is a common practice in many industries. Submerged arc welding is common for these types applications, and we offer single and multiple wire solutions. Our systems can be adapted for longitudinal and circumferential welding to meet your needs.