Brinly-Hardy was founded in 1839 and since then have fabricated parts for their own line of agriculture products, as well as, agriculture products for John Deere. Brinly-Hardy is no stranger to robotic welding, they have been using robots since the mid 90’s, however as robotic welding technology advanced, the need for updated robotics became apparent. Rob Leasor, Brinly-Hardy’s Production Manager took some time to talk with us about the advantages robotic welding provides his fabrication process.
As someone who has used robots for a number of years, what differences do you see in your old robots versus your new robotic welding cell?
There’s a huge difference with the welding cell. The programming of the robot itself is so much easier. The teach pendant is much easier than on the old robots. It’s all self explanatory on the screen and you don’t have to enter codes.
What is the biggest advantage you have experienced welding with a robot?
Quality is number one. With robotic welding cell it’s the exact weld every time. With manual welding, as soon as you change shifts you have someone welding a different path or a different way, it shows up in your product.
Where does it show up?
It shows up everywhere. If I have a 1/8” billet and I have a welder using 1/4”, that’s a big difference. Bad or incorrect welds will show up in paint and other points of production down the line. It can throw the whole product off.
From the time you had the cell installed, how long before you were running parts?
This is a turn key welding cell. You buy it, go to training, and turn it on. We were up and running in seven days.
How has the new robot performed from a part output standpoint?
A good example is, we make a hopper that we weld on the robot and we get about 30 parts an hour. Manually we might get eight or nine, so we are getting three times as many parts on the welding cell.
What type of learning curve did you experience with the robot?
The training you get through Modern Machinery is great. It’s a one week course. I sent a guy who had worked with robots for 12 years and a guy who had never worked with robots, and at the end of the one week course they were both operating the robot on the same level. The training was excellent.
Can you tell me about the support you received after your purchase?
Every one sells robots and robotic welding cells. With Modern Machinery you get the support, service and training. Dave Allen (Modern Machinery’s Welding Engineer) is a great resource and has a great knowledge of not only welding, but robotic welding. I was impressed with him from the get go.
Has the new robot had any effect on your consumables?
The difference is night and day between an old robot and the new one. Our tips don’t wear out as fast and our tips don’t get as hot. Between the wire and the tips I am saving about 50-60% in consumables.
How has the new robot affected your bottom line?
We are able to charge less for our automation than for a manual welder. It’s just cheaper to run a robot than have the parts manually welded. It allows us to compete. I can build a product through all my processes in the shop, but welding is where I can save money and the robot saves you money