As industries evolve, so do the tools that shape them. Among the most transformative developments in the realm of pipe fabrication is the Spool Welding Robot (SWR).

Below we will dive into the workings of this innovative technology, its profound impact on pipe fabrication, and the future it foretells for industrial construction.

We'll also discuss how STEVENS, embracing this cutting-edge technology, is poised to deliver unparalleled service in diverse industries, elevating standards and shaping the future of pipe fabrication.

Table Of Contents


What Is A Spool Welding Robot?

In 2016, Novarc Technologies Inc. introduced a transformative tool in construction technology - the Spool Welding Robot (SWR).

This collaborative robot, designed to work alongside human operators, is used for the welding process in pipe fabrication, providing an automated approach to what was once a manual task.

By automating these tasks, the SWR eliminates workflow bottlenecks and significantly enhances welder productivity.

The impact of the SWR has been profound, particularly in shops handling materials like carbon and stainless steel, leading to marked improvements in productivity, weld quality, and overall operational efficiency.


How Does A Spool Welding Robot Help in Pipe Fabrication?

The SWR, or 'cobot,' operates harmoniously with human operators. This user-friendly technology doesn't require extensive robotic knowledge or programming skills. Its compact design, requiring only a 4 x 4 ft space and a built-in safety system, eliminates the need for protective fencing.

The cobot integrates with two to five positioners, maximizing the arc-on time and demonstrating efficient setup times. It can weld stringers and multipass joints, producing code-quality groove and fillet welds.

Notably, the SWR enables continuous welding from the root pass to the final weld layer without turning off the arc between weld passes. It has built-in features—Tack Fusion™, Root Save™, and Repeat Pass™—designed to accommodate tack welds and variable joint fit-ups, addressing typical pipe welding and fabrication variability.


Benefits of Using a Spool Welding Robot in Pipe Fabrication

The Spool Welding Robot (SWR) provides countless benefits to pipe fabrication. The biggest advantage is its ability to enhance productivity and efficiency. Its precise, automated welding boosts output and reduces setup times.

Leveraging the power of the welding cobot, fabrication shops can multiply their productivity in stainless steel pipe welding by up to twelve times. Even for carbon steel pipe welding, they can see productivity improvements ranging from three to five times.

With the SWR, welders typically generate 200–350 diameter inches per shift when working on carbon steel pipes and 569–998 diameter inches per shift for stainless steel pipes.

Rapid up-scaling is simple with a human-machine interface (HMI) that lets welders choose preprogrammed welding procedures and adjust weld and motion parameters. This welding automation technology on both stainless and carbon steel pipes enables welders to maintain defect rates under 1% during the pipe welding process.

The SWR consistently produces high-quality welds, maintaining a standard of excellence across all operations. Its precision also minimizes waste, promoting cost efficiency and sustainability.

The SWR's compact design and built-in safety system make it a safer alternative in fabrication environments. Automation of routine welding tasks means less direct human involvement in hazardous jobs.

This shift allows skilled welders to dedicate their expertise to more complex aspects of fabrication, further increasing productivity and fostering industry advancements. Even welders with minimal welding experience will be able to handle tasks that were once reserved for only experienced welders.


The Future of Spool Welding Robots in Industrial Construction

Robotic welding, led by advancements like the Spool Welding Robot (SWR), will continue to revolutionize the global welding market.

As the technology continues to evolve, prioritizing speed, safety, and efficiency, many companies will harness its potential within their manufacturing processes.

This strategic move, favoring automation, is set to save valuable time and resources, cementing the future of the SWR and similar technologies as indispensable elements in pipe fabrication.


Contact STEVENS Today

At STEVENS, we've embraced innovation with the Spool Welding Robot (SWR), significantly enhancing our fabrication output and capacity.

The SWR offers unprecedented agility and precision, enabling us to weld diverse pipe materials, accommodate longer pipes, and perform non-stop root-to-cap welding. With features like video QC and dual positioners for increased flow rate, we're raising the bar in pipe fabrication.

The SWR reduces imperfections and downtime, improving weld quality and project speed. Regardless of your industry - steel mill, oil and gas, or wastewater treatment - STEVENS, powered by the SWR, is your key to efficient, high-quality piping solutions.

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About The Author


I'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for the esteemed STEVENS company. As someone passionate about crafting captivating content, I take great pride in creating pieces that highlight STEVENS' capabilities and communicate the depth and breadth of their outstanding work.

In my role, I'm constantly striving to develop messaging that resonates with our clients and effectively showcases the exceptional work that we do here at STEVENS. I believe that communication is the key to success, and I work tirelessly to ensure our marketing efforts are engaging and informative.

When I'm not working, I often spend time with my three wonderful children. Becoming a dad is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with my wife and kids. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.