COLUMN AND BOOM MANIPULATOR SYSTEMS
COMPLETE and flexible WELDING Solutions
AMET’s Column and Boom Manipulator systems offer versatility for a wide range of applications from hotwire GTAW bore cladding to SAW. We offer a full line of part supporting equipment including turning rolls, turn tables, positioners, and travel carts. With our XM or XPro Controller being able to integrate with and control the supporting equipment, we can provide a seamless and complete welding system for virtually any application.
At the core of these column & boom manipulator systems is AMET’s manipulators. Our manipulators are specifically designed for rigidity and precise motion. High strength materials and precision rails are used on both axes to provide a rigid and proven system for years of reliable operation.
30+ Years of welding Automation Excellence
AMET manufactures motorized column & boom manipulator systems with a 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 150 – 600 kg (330 – 1,300 lbs), depending upon the length of the boom and series of manipulator.
- 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: 1, 1.2, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 meter (3.2, 3.9, 4.9, 6.5, 8.2, 9.8, and 13.1 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 column & boom manipulator systems offer robust solutions for a wide range of applications with the following benefits:
- The XM or XPro 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 some 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 many 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
2. The boom 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 features a kingpin for 360 degrees of manual rotation with manual brakes to lock the column into position. A handle is included on larger manipulators to aid in rotation.
7. A sturdy freestanding base supports the manipulator fixture. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 initiated by touching the torch tip to the part for GTAW and PAW applications. This capability requires an AVC module.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SINGLE POINT POWER DISTRIBUTION
AMET® provides fuse-protected power to all system components from a single primary power circuit (provided by customer).
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.
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.
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.
PROGRAMMABLE GAS CONTROL
Adds programmable gas flow control for GTAW and PAW applications.
Precision engine components for the aerospace industry have tight tolerances and strict quality control. Precision motion and repeatability are essential when manufacturing these components. AMET’s servo controlled axes of motion are well-suited to meet such stringent requirements.
ID and OD pipe cladding are available on our systems. We offer spiral and step-index cladding to fulfill the needs of most applications.
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.