Introduction to Automation 291

"Introduction to Automation" provides a comprehensive overview of the automation technology used in welding and thermal cutting processes. Automation is the use of either CNC machinery or robotic systems to both power and perform one or more processes. Automation offers manufacturers several benefits, such as minimizing production costs and waste, reducing a part's cycle time and a work area's footprint, and improving part quality and process reliability.

Understanding basic machine components, their movement, and the way in which they are controlled is essential to performing any automated welding or thermal cutting process. After taking this class, users will be familiar with automated equipment, operation requirements, and safety measures. This information provides the foundation necessary to working with automated machinery successfully and safely.

Class Details

Class Name:
Introduction to Automation 291
Description:
"Introduction to Automation" provides a comprehensive overview of the automation technology used in welding and thermal cutting processes. Automation is the use of either CNC machinery or robotic systems to both power and perform one or more processes. Automation offers manufacturers several benefits, such as minimizing production costs and waste, reducing a part's cycle time and a work area's footprint, and improving part quality and process reliability.

Understanding basic machine components, their movement, and the way in which they are controlled is essential to performing any automated welding or thermal cutting process. After taking this class, users will be familiar with automated equipment, operation requirements, and safety measures. This information provides the foundation necessary to working with automated machinery successfully and safely.
Version:
2.0
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Number of Lessons:
24

Class Outline

  • Introduction to Automation
  • CNC and Robotics
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Automation Safety
  • Review: Automation
  • CNC Thermal Cutting: Overview
  • Machine Components
  • Machine Movement
  • Part Programs
  • Toolpaths
  • Review: CNC Thermal Cutting
  • Robotic Welding: Overview
  • Standard Robotic Components
  • Joints
  • Review: Robotic Welding
  • Cartesian, Cylindrical, and Spherical Robots
  • Articulated, SCARA, and Delta Robots
  • Reference Frames
  • Robot Teaching Methods
  • Review: Robot Movement and Teaching
  • The Teach Pendant
  • Programming
  • Editing and Cleaning Programs
  • Final Review: Robotics

Objectives

  • Describe automation.
  • Distinguish between automated CNC and robotic systems.
  • Identify appropriate personal protective equipment for working with automated systems.
  • Describe safety procedures for working with automated systems.
  • Distinguish between the different CNC thermal cutting processes.
  • Identify the basic components of a CNC thermal cutting machine.
  • Describe the Cartesian coordinate system.
  • Describe a CNC part program.
  • Describe the aspects of a CNC toolpath.
  • Describe robotic welding.
  • Describe the basic components of a robot.
  • Describe the different joints on robotic arms.
  • Distinguish between Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical robots.
  • Distinguish between articulated, SCARA, and Delta robots.
  • Identify the different reference frames an operator may use to define a robot's movement.
  • Describe the different robot teaching methods.
  • Describe the teach pendant.
  • Describe robotic programming.
  • Describe editing and cleaning robotic programs.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
additive manufacturing AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
address letter A letter used within a part program word that signals the essential function of the word. Address letters specify the type of command to be performed.
alphanumeric Consisting of or using both letters and numbers. Alphanumeric codes, which make up G-code programming, instruct CNC machine operation.
American National Standards Institute ANSI. A private, nonprofit organization that oversees industry standards for commercial products and services. The American National Standards Institute provides a process for industry groups to create and publish certain specifications.
amplifier circuit An electronic device that increases amperage or voltage. Amplifier circuits are components in a CNC drive system.
arc welding A group of welding processes that use electricity to generate the heat needed to melt base metals. Arc welding is portable and economical, making it the most common form of welding.
arc welding A joining process that uses an electric arc to melt metals and fuse them together permanently. Arc welding processes include stick metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and flux-cored arc welding.
articulated robot A type of robot that closely resembles a human arm. An articulated robot has revolute joints with a varied number of joints.
assembly The process of fitting components together into a larger or completed part. Assembly may include inserting components into printed wiring boards and putting together small electric motors.
assist gas A gas used during the laser cutting process that removes molten metal from a cut and improves cut quality and cutting performance. Assist gases include oxygen, nitrogen, or compressed air.
automation The use of self-regulated equipment, processes, or systems that meet manufacturing requirements with limited human intervention. Automation, which includes both robotic and CNC-controlled processes, is an efficient means of performing manufacturing processes.
axes Imaginary lines that are used to define the locations of objects in three-dimensional space. Axes are used to track locations and movements of objects in the Cartesian coordinate system.
axis control module A component that allows a robot to move in different directions. The axis control module also controls the velocity and torque of the robotic arm.
ballscrew A long, threaded device that rotates to move machine components. Ballscrews are powered by drive motors and require regular lubrication to function properly within CNC thermal cutting machines.
bead-around-box program A program used by programmers that moves a robot around a box. A bead-around-box program is often one of the first basic programs learned by operators.
blocks A single line of a part program. A block is composed of words.
Cartesian coordinate system CCS. A numerical system that describes the location of an object by expressing its distance from a fixed position along three linear axes. The Cartesian coordinate system is used to program machining positions on a CNC machine.
Cartesian robot A type of robot that has prismatic joints only. Cartesian robots have linear joint movement that gives them a highly rigid structure, allowing them to lift heavy objects.
centerline An imaginary line that divides a shape into two equal halves or runs through the center of an object. The point at which the centerline of a robotic joint intersects with another robotic joint's centerline defines the origin.
chemical reaction A process in which one or more substances are changed into another substance. Chemical reactions alter the physical structure of a substance in some way.
cleaning The practice of working to decrease cycle time. Cleaning often involves an operator editing a program to change the positions or paths of a robot.
CNC Computer numerical control. A type of programmable automation, directed by mathematical data, which uses computers to carry out various machining operations. CNC is a self-contained system that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components, perform processes, and manufacture parts.
combustible Capable of catching fire and burning. Combustible materials must never be present in a thermal cutting or welding area.
compressed air Air that has been pressurized. Compressed air is usually squeezed into a small space, such as a tank or work cell.
compressed gas Any gas held under pressure in a gas cylinder. Compressed gases, such as nitrogen, argon, and oxygen, are sometimes used in plasma cutting.
computer numerical control CNC. A type of programmable automation, directed by mathematical data, which uses computers to carry out various machining operations. Computer numerical control is a self-contained system that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components, perform processes, and manufacture parts.
computer-aided design CAD. A computer software program that aids in the automated design and drawing of a part. Computer-aided design software is used by CNC thermal cutting systems.
computer-aided manufacturing CAM. A computer software program that generates the path a machine tool must follow to produce a part. Computer-aided manufacturing software is used by CNC thermal cutting systems.
configuration The way in which robotic parts are arranged. The configuration of a robot often affects the size of a robot’s work envelope.
contact tip The device located inside the welding gun that conducts electricity to the electrode and directs the wire electrode into the weld joint. Contact tips are usually made of copper.
control system A manual or automatic mechanism used to manage dynamic processes. Control systems adjust or maintain a process's physical variables such as temperature, speed, or flow rate.
control system A method of tool and part movement in CNC machining. Control systems include point-to-point positioning and continuous path.
controller A device that processes information and carries out instructions. Controllers are connected to a robot by an interface.
coordinate frame A dimensional coordinate system. Coordinate frames, also known as reference frames, are used to define the movement of a robot by locating point positions in three-dimensional space.
current The rate and amount of electrical flow, which is measured in amperage. Continuous currents are required in arc welding and thermal cutting processes in order to maintain the electric arc.
cutting nozzle The part of a laser cutting machine that focuses the laser beam to a pinpoint and aims it at the workpiece. Cutting nozzles must be carefully chosen to avoid any errors during the cutting process.
cutting table The surface on which the workpiece rests during a mechanized cutting process. The cutting table supports the workpiece and catches sparks or slag produced while cutting.
cutting tip A replaceable nozzle for a gas torch that is specially adapted for oxyfuel cutting instead of welding. Cutting tips are made in a variety of sizes and orifice configurations based upon the type of fuel gas used.
cutting torch A tool used to control the severing of a workpiece during thermal cutting processes. Cutting torches are specialized to the type of thermal cutting process in which they are used.
cycle time The actual time it takes to perform a task and move forward to the next step. In robotic welding, cycle time is decreased by cleaning a program.
cycle time The time it takes to perform a single task. Cycle time may refer to the time it takes to make one part or to perform one step in a process.
cylindrical robot A type of robot that has a combination of revolute and prismatic joints. Cylindrical robots work in cylindrical work envelopes.
darkness rating The amount of shading that a filter plate provides. Darkness ratings range from 1, which offers the least protection, to 14, which offers the most protection.
deadman switch A control device that must be depressed for a robot to move. Deadman switches are a safety feature on robotic teach pendants.
deadman switch A control device that must be depressed for a robot to move. Deadman switches are safety features on robotic teach pendants.
Delta robot A type of robot that has three arms attached to universal joints. Delta robots are often mounted above the work area.
divot A gouge in the surface of a metal workpiece. Divots are often created at the pierce point of the cutting tool path.
downtime The period of time when a machine is not operating or producing. Downtime can be caused by maintenance issues or mechanical breakdowns.
drive motor A component in a CNC drive system that powers the movement of the machine components. Drive motors include stepper and servo motors.
driver software A computer software program that controls the CNC table and tools. Most driver software is manufacturer-specific.
dross A type of scum that forms during some thermal cutting processes. Dross is a result of oxidation on the surface of molten metals.
dry run A trial run of a CNC part program without the workpiece loaded onto the cutting table. Dry runs are a commonly used method to prove out a part program.
earmuffs Full ear coverings that are connected by a headband and create a perfect seal around the ear. Earmuffs protect hearing as well as the outer ear from flying sparks or debris.
earplugs A protective device that is inserted in the ear to block noise. Earplugs can be made from wax, cotton, foam, silicone, or rubber.
electric arc The area in which electricity jumps from an electrode to a conductor to produce extreme heat and light. Electric arcs are used in thermal welding and cutting applications and in some types of industrial furnaces.
electrical shock The flow of electricity that occurs when a part of the human body contacts a source of electricity. Electrical shock can be fatal, depending on the level of exposure.
emergency stop A button or switch that brings a machine to a safe, rapid stop. Emergency stop buttons or switches may also be called E-stops.
end effector The end component of a robotic arm that is shaped like a hand. End effectors give robots their distinct functional characteristics.
E-stop Emergency stop button. A button that stops a robot from moving. Pressing the E-stop button results in turning off the power to the motor of a robot.
feedback Information sent back into the control system that allows actual position to be compared to desired position. Feedback allows the system to signal the motor to move if the positions do not match.
feedback system A method of monitoring the position of a machine tool and sending informational signals to the CNC machine control unit. Feedback systems provide information that allows the MCU to make any corrections during the cutting process.
filter plates The shaded protective lens inside the welding helmet that filters out harmful rays and intense bright light. Filter plates' required level of shading depends on the welding or cutting process, the materials used, and the power source.
fire extinguisher A portable device that uses a rapid spray of chemicals to put out small fires. Fire extinguishers are an essential part of fire prevention.
fire-resistant Designed to resist burning and withstand heat. Fire-resistant clothes and materials, such as leather and treated cotton or wool, are important when performing cutting and welding processes.
fire-resistant synthetic materials A manufactured or human-made textile that is flame retardant. Fire-resistant synthetic materials are lightweight and cooler to wear.
fixed Stationary or permanent. Fixed points are usually used as defaults.
fixtures A specialized workholding device that is designed to effectively support, locate, and hold a specific type of workpiece. Fixtures are often used with workpieces that have multiple, complex dimensions.
flammable Able to quickly catch fire under normal circumstances and with the help of a minimal ignition source. Flammable materials must never be present in a thermal cutting or welding area.
focal point The point at which rays or waves meet after reflection or refraction. Focal points are often created by one or a series of lenses.
focusing device A series of specialized lenses or mirrors used to concentrate a laser beam. Focusing devices concentrate a laser beam into a focal point.
footprint A specification that indicates the amount of floor space a machine occupies. Footprint size can be reduced by automation.
fume extractor Any device that uses suction to remove the smoke and gases from the environment that are generated during welding. Fume extractors are sometimes called hoods.
fume plume A cloud-like area where welding or cutting fumes collect. Fume plumes are hazardous to an individual's health and safety.
gantry The mechanized bridge upon which tooling is mounted. A gantry's movement is controlled by a CNC machine.
gauntlets A type of protective glove that extends past the end of the shirt sleeves to cover the arm. Gauntlets provide an additional level of protection when performing welding or cutting processes.
G-code An individual word in a CNC part program that instructs a CNC machine on where to move its tool, how quickly to move it, and what path its movement should follow. G-codes always start with the letter "G," which is followed by a number.
G-code programming A name commonly used to represent the basic CNC programming language. G-code programming determines the type of operation performed within a program on the machine.
heat-resistant Designed to resist heat and thermal damage. Heat-resistant clothes and materials, such as cotton and leather, are important when performing cutting and welding processes.
industrial robot A multifunctional device that uses highly adaptable programmed motions to perform various processes. Industrial robots are a form of automation.
infrared light IR. Invisible rays emitted during many welding and cutting processes. Infrared light can damage vision.
input signals The information sent to a robot. Input signals provide information about a robot's surroundings.
input/output module I/O module. The jack where an input/output device is connected to a programmable logic controller, like a teach pendant. I/O modules convert signals into language that computers understand and communicate to robots.
interfaces A hardware device that connects two separate pieces of equipment. Interfaces connect a controller to a robot.
interlocks A type of machine arrangement that prevents the operation of one mechanism while another one is taking place. Interlocks help prevent injury during operation.
ionize To negatively or positively charge an atom or collection of atoms by adding or removing one or more electrons. Ionized gases, called plasmas, are positively charged when used in plasma cutting.
iron A silver-white, metallic element that is the fourth most abundant element on earth. Iron undergoes a chemical reaction and forms iron oxides when exposed to oxygen.
jog To move a machine component using machine controls. In robotic welding, the robot is jogged using the teach pendant.
jog To move a machine component using machine controls. To jog a robot, an operator must use a teach pendant.
jog frame A dimensional coordinate system. The jog frame defines the movements of a robot in relation to a coordinate system that is determined by the operator.
joint frame A dimensional coordinate system. The joint frame defines the movements of a robot based on the direction of joint rotation.
joints The location at which two or more parts of a robotic arm make contact. Joints allow parts to move in different directions.
kerf A cut or opening created in a workpiece during a thermal cutting operation. Kerf sometimes refers to the width of a cut or the width of the material removed by a cutting process.
keyboard programming Teaching a robot to perform an operation by creating a computer program with or without moving the arm. Keyboard programming can be performed online or offline.
kindling temperature The lowest temperature at which a substance or material, when heated, spontaneously catches fire and continues to burn. Kindling temperature is also called ignition temperature.
laser beam An intense beam of coherent, collimated, monochromatic light that can be precisely aimed and controlled. Laser beams can be used to cut and weld materials or for other thermal processes.
laser beam cutting LBC. A thermal cutting process that uses a focused stream of coherent, collimated, monochromatic light to sever a workpiece. Laser beam cutting is usually an automated process that produces intricate, continuous cuts.
laser beam welding LBW. Welding that uses a laser to join pieces of metal. Laser beam welding is particularly useful for making narrow and deep welds.
lead-in Beginning a cut at a location that will not be visible or create a defect in the finished product. Lead-ins are often used in CNC thermal cutting processes.
lead-out Ending a cut in a location off the finished workpiece. Lead-outs are sometimes used in CNC thermal cutting processes.
lead-through programming A programming method in which a robot is placed in teach mode while the trainer uses a remote teach pendant to manipulate the robot through the different steps of a job. Lead-through programming is the most common programming method.
linear axes Each of three imaginary perpendicular lines that describe movement along a straight line. Linear axes serve as reference points in the Cartesian coordinate system.
linear joints A joint that moves in a straight line across one axis. Linear joints are also known as prismatic joints.
linear scale A type of feedback device that relies on the size of an electrical current to convey the position or distance of the machine tool on a CNC machine. A linear scale is one of the most accurate feedback devices.
lockout/tagout A method of protecting employees from accidental machine startup through proper locking and labeling of machines that are hazardous or under maintenance. Lockout/tagout devices include locks and keys, combination locks, energy isolating mechanisms, and warning labels.
machine control unit MCU. A small, powerful computer that reads the part program and operates a CNC machine. A machine control unit is capable of storing multiple part programs in its memory.
machine guards A shield or cover over a machine's hazardous area that is designed to prevent contact with body parts or to prevent debris from exiting the machine. Machine guards often partially cover the point of operation while allowing necessary access.
material handling The process of loading, unloading, placing, or manipulating material. Material handling operations often require the performance of highly repetitive tasks that are ideal for robotic work.
M-code An individual word in a CNC part program that instructs a machine of the operation of its auxiliary functions, such as when to turn on and off its tool. M-codes always start with the letter "M," which is followed by a number.
mechanization The use of mechanical power instead of human or animal power to perform a process. Mechanization has primarily replaced manual labor, but it still requires an individual to control or monitor a process.
modal command A type of command used in a CNC part program that stays in effect throughout subsequent G-code commands. Modal commands remain active until another command is entered.
motion control keys A set of keys that are used for lead-through programming and robot positioning. Motion control keys often include forward, backward, right, and left direction buttons.
motor A machine that converts one form of energy into another. Motors may transform electrical energy into mechanical energy.
negative number A number representing a value less than zero. Negative numbers are always preceded by a minus sign (-) to indicate their negative value.
number keys A set of keys that are used to select and enter numbers into a program. Number keys may be used to enter axis positions.
numerical data Any type of information, expressed in numbers. Numerical data is used to program the movement of CNC machines.
offline A type of keyboard programming in which a trainer writes a program from a remote location and downloads it into a robot. Offline programming can be refined with lead-through or walk-through programming.
on/off switch A switch that allows a welder to control the teach pendant and programming. The on/off switch turns the teach pendant on or off.
online A type of keyboard programming in which a trainer directly teaches a robot its programs. Online programming, also known as teach programming, requires the robot to remain on in order to learn.
online toolpaths A CNC toolpath that evenly distributes the cut width on both sides of the cutting line. Online toolpaths use neither lead-ins or lead-outs.
optical encoder A type of feedback device that records light reflections during the cutting process. The optical encoder then converts those reflections into feedback signals.
origin The fixed, central point in a coordinate system. The origin has a numerical value of zero.
origin The fixed, central point in the Cartesian coordinate system. The origin has a numerical value of zero at each axis.
output signals The information sent to the robotic body or arm. Output signals activate work tools.
oxidizing Chemically combining and reacting with oxygen. Oxidizing the iron in a heated ferrous metal workpiece creates a kerf during oxyfuel cutting.
oxyfuel A thermal process that uses a flame produced by oxygen and fuel gas along with a high pressure stream of oxygen. Oxyfuel processes include oxyfuel welding (OFW) and oxyfuel cutting (OFC).
oxyfuel cutting OFC. A thermal cutting process that uses a flame produced by oxygen and fuel gas along with a high pressure stream of oxygen. Oxyfuel cutting, which is sometimes called flame cutting or gas cutting, is a very convenient and cost-effective cutting process.
oxyfuel welding OFW. A fusion welding process that uses a flame produced by a mixture of oxygen and fuel gas, usually acetylene. Oxyfuel welding is sometimes called oxyacetylene welding or gas welding.
part program Instructions that direct a CNC machine to perform the necessary sequence of operations to machine a specific workpiece. Part programs are usually composed of a series of letters, numbers, and symbols.
perpendicular An intersection of two or more lines or objects at right angles. Perpendicular lines form a 90° angle.
personal protective equipment PPE. Various safeguarding devices that workers use to prevent injury in the workplace. Personal protective equipment includes safety glasses, gloves, masks, and earplugs.
pierce point The area where the cutting torch first makes contact with the workpiece and starts the cutting process. Pierce points usually have a divot or visible dross on the topside of the workpiece.
pinch point Any place in which two moving components come together. Pinch points can cause injury if a body part comes into contact with the area.
plasma A state of matter created by energizing a gas. Plasma is the fourth state of matter characterized by its high temperature and electrical conductivity.
plasma arc cutting PAC. A method of cutting metal with a jet of gas that has been ionized by an electric arc to create plasma. Plasma arc cutting is a quick process that creates high quality cuts.
playback speed The percentage of speed at which a program is replayed. Playback speed gradually increases each time a program is replayed until the program can run safely at full speed.
positional data Information about the position of a device or component. Positional data, along with procedural data, is used to program a robot's movement.
positive number A number representing a value more than zero. Positive numbers are sometimes preceded by a plus sign (+) to indicate their positive value.
power density The rate of power per unit area. Power density is usually measured in British thermal units per square inch (Btu/ in.²) or in watts per square centimeter (W/cm²).
power source A device that provides electricity for arc welding processes and controls welding variables. Power sources may also contain the wire feeder for the electrode.
primary voltage shock An electrical shock from 120 to 480 volts that results from touching a lead inside a switched-on thermal cutting or welding power source and touching a grounded metal at the same time. Primary voltage shock is an electrical risk in automated welding and thermal cutting processes that use an electric arc.
prismatic joints A joint that moves in a straight line across a single axis. Prismatic joints are also known as linear joints.
procedural data Information about the steps necessary to perform a process. Procedural data, along with positional data, is used to program a robot's movement.
program control keys A type of key on a teach pendant for selecting and executing programs. Program control keys assist operators in providing machines with directions for movement and tasks.
program input device A device that delivers the part program to the CNC controller. Program input devices can be sensors, switches, or USB cables.
programming Entering information, such as velocity and travel time, into a robot's processor. Programming provides robots with the directions necessary to complete a given task.
programming language A set of symbols and rules used to represent information. Programming language instructs a processor on the manner in which it should carry out a process.
programs A computer-based series of commands that contains all pertinent instructions and information for the completion of a specific task. Programs in robotic welding tell robots how to move to make welds.
prove out Performing a series of steps to verify the accuracy of a part program. Prove outs require a CNC operator to closely monitor machine operation while conducting a dry run.
rack and pinion A gear pair that consists of a circular gear, or pinion, that meshes with a flat-toothed bar, or rack. Rack and pinions are sometimes used in a CNC thermal cutting machine to convert rotary motion into linear motion.
radiation Energy emitted in the form of particles or waves. Radiation exposure for prolonged periods of time can cause serious health problems.
reference frame A dimensional coordinate system. Reference frames, also known as coordinate frames, are used to define the movement of a robot by locating point positions in three-dimensional space.
revolute joints A joint that rotates around a single, circular axis. Revolute joints give robotic arms wide ranges of movement.
robotic arm An arm-shaped robot generally mounted on a platform or suspended from a track that allows the arm to reach various distances and locations. Robotic arms are also known as manipulators.
robotic arm An arm-shaped robot that is usually mounted on a platform or suspended from a track. A robotic arm can reach various distances and locations and is also known as a manipulator.
robotic work cell The area composed of a robot and any external devices or equipment that interacts with the robot. Robotic work cells include the maximum volume of space that the robot can reach.
robotics A field of science that is focused on programmable mechanical devices. Robotics enable the work of a person to be done by a robot with a higher degree of accuracy.
safety barriers A gate or fence that prevents workers from entering dangerous areas. Safety barriers are sometimes used with robotic work cells.
safety goggles A type of tight-fitting eye protection that completely covers the eyes, the sockets, and the surrounding facial area. Safety goggles offer protection from impact, slag, molten metal, and spatter.
SCARA robot Selective Compliance Arm for Robotic Assembly robot. A type of cylindrical robot that has four axes of movement. SCARA robots are often used to insert electronic components into circuit boards.
secondary voltage shock An electrical shock from 60 to 100 volts that results from touching the electrode while another part of the body touches the workpiece. Secondary voltage shock is an electrical risk in automated welding and thermal cutting processes that use an electric arc.
single-step program A program used by programmers to teach a robot its movements. In a single-step program, a programmer moves the robot to its desired location and records that location, one movement at a time.
slag Cooled flux that forms on top of a weld bead. Slag protects cooling metal and is then chipped off.
software A set of digitized programs and operating procedures. Software determines the actions or performance of a computer or machine.
spherical robot A type of robot that has a joint configuration that allows the robot to rotate in a desired direction and then extend to reach an object. A typical spherical robot has four to six revolute joints.
spot welding A type of welding in which parts such as sheet metal are squeezed together between two electrodes and subjected to a large amount of electric current to form a joint. Spot welding is used primarily by the automotive industry to weld automobile bodies.
syntax The format or order each word in a G-code program follows. Syntax errors can cause serious problems within a part program.
synthetic materials Artificial or human-made. Synthetic materials include plastic and nylon.
teach pendant A hand-held device that an operator uses to instruct a robot. Teach pendants are used to specify the character and types of motions a robot is to undertake.
thermal cutting A cutting process that uses heat to remove metal from a workpiece. Thermal cutting processes include oxyfuel, air carbon arc, plasma arc, and laser beam.
three-dimensional 3D. Having a length, width, and depth. Three-dimensional objects can be mapped using the Cartesian coordinate system.
tool center point TCP. The middle of the tip or end of the tool installed on a robot. Tool center points define robot positioning in the tool frame.
tool frame A dimensional coordinate system. The tool frame defines the movements of a robot in relation to the origin located at the tool center point.
toolpath The series of movements that a cutting tool makes while creating a cut. Toolpaths within a part program are indicated by X- and Z-codes.
torch A type of end effector that generates a flame in order to make welds. Torches contain hoses that direct the flow of gases inside of them.
torch An end effector that generates a flame in order to make welds. Torches contain hoses that direct the flow of gases inside of them.
travel speed The rate at which a cutting torch or welding gun moves along the surface of a workpiece. Travel speeds are measured in inches or millimeters per minute.
treated A material that includes chemical additives to change its properties. Treated materials, such as wool or cotton, can be fire-resistant.
ultraviolet light UV light. Light not visible to the naked eye because it consists of wavelengths shorter than those of visible light. Ultraviolet light is harmful and can damage vision and burn skin.
universal joints A joint that transmits rotary motion and permits a limited amount of freedom of movement to unaligned machine parts. Universal joints are used in Delta robots.
universal serial bus connection USB connection. A port on computers that is compatible with many different types of devices. Universal serial port connections include flash drives, memory cards, and printers.
user frame A dimensional coordinate system similar to the jog frame. The user frame defines the movements of a robot in relation to an operator-determined origin.
ventilation A means of providing fresh air. Proper ventilation is required during welding and cutting processes to ensure the safety of the welder.
voltage The electrical force or pressure that causes current to flow in a circuit. Voltage is measured in volts.
walk-through programming A programming method in which the trainer physically moves the robot through different steps of the job process. Walk-through programming may require the use of the teach pendant.
welding A joining process that permanently bonds two separate components together. Welding uses heat, pressure, or a combination of elements to make one new part.
welding gun A type of end effector that guides the electrode and may release shielding gas. A welding gun is used in some automatic and semi-automatic welding processes.
welding gun A type of welding tool that conducts electricity, guides the electrode, and may release shielding gas. A welding gun is used in some automatic and semi-automatic welding processes.
welding gun An end effector that conducts electricity, guides the electrode, and may release shielding gas. Welding guns are used in some automatic and semi-automatic welding processes.
welding helmet A protective eye and face device that protects a welder from the arc's harmful rays and intense bright light. Welding helmets are worn during both welding and cutting processes.
words An address letter paired with a number used within a part program. Words instruct a machine on specific movements.
work envelope The defined area of space through which a robot can move. Work envelopes are often used to classify different types of robots.
workpiece A part that is being worked on during manufacturing. The workpiece may be subject to cutting, welding, forming, or other operations.
world frame A dimensional coordinate system. The world frame defines the movements of a robot in relation to the Cartesian coordinate system.
X axis The linear axis representing coordinate positions along a line parallel to the longest edge of the cutting table. X axes usually runs left to right.
Y axis The linear axis representing coordinate positions along a line parallel to the shortest edge of the worktable. The Y axis usually runs back and forth.
Z axis The linear axis representing coordinate positions along a line parallel to the cutting torch and perpendicular to the cutting table. The Z axis usually runs up and down.