“The Smooth Robotics Software has hands down been epic in quick programming. I have found that if we have to weld more than 12” in length, it’s more effective to use the robot. Even for just 1 part. This is a game changer.”— Shawn Wentzel, Owner of Wenteq Inc.
At Wenteq, the team was searching for a welding system that could increase productivity and was easy to use.
The company has a high mix of parts with low quantities, which required a system that could offer quick setup and user-friendliness. Having experience with UR line of robots for loading machines and deburring parts in their CNC machine shop, they decided to test welding with the robot.
To begin, they 3D printed an end-of-arm tool to hold a standard MIG torch and wired it to an I/O. While it allowed them to weld, the programming proved to be cumbersome and not suitable for quick jobs.
Eventually, they turned to Smooth Robotics for a solution.
“Smooth Robotics was able to provide us a solution that utilized our existing robot and welder, as a software that installed as a UR Cap. Setup and installation was quick and easy. We were able to understand the software super quick and the learning curve was only about an hour. We were welding actual customer parts within 3 hours of installation of the software,” says Shawn Wentzel, owner of Wenteq Inc.
In 2001, Wenteq began its journey in metal fabrication and selling racecar parts. The company soon realized the need to develop new products and with this in mind, they decided that manufacturing in-house would be the best approach.
To facilitate their manufacturing plans, the company purchased their first mill in 2004. Since then, Wenteq has been expanding and growing steadily. Currently, they operate from a modern 14,000 square foot manufacturing facility equipped with advanced machinery to serve their customers better. Additionally, the company has ample space to continue expanding its operations in the future.
A Game Changer
Wenteq was surprised by the quality of welds they can produce with the cobot. They currently have highly skilled fabricators who weld excellently, but they are difficult to come by. Now, even someone with no welding knowledge can weld better than most of the highly skilled fabricators with the use of a welding robot.
This development enables Wenteq to accomplish more because they can now use their fabricators to prepare and tack the parts for complex jobs while the robot takes over the welding.
“On the ease of use, setting up to begin welding was the most important factor for us. We did not want to spend 30 minutes programming for 15 minutes of welding. The Smooth Robotics Software has hands down been epic in quick programming. I have found that if we have to weld more than 12” in length, it is more effective to use the robot. Even for just 1 part. This is a game changer,” says Shawn Wentzel, owner of Wenteq Inc.