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AI and robotics solutions from Fronius for welding 
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AI and robotics solutions from Fronius for welding 

December 29, 2023 7:28 pm

Explore cutting-edge advancements in welding technology, robotics, and sustainability. Amlan Saha, Segment Manager at Fronius India, shares insights into their R&D, robotic welding, sustainability practices, training programs, and future goals, emphasising collaboration and education in welding technology.

What latest advancements have taken place in welding technologies? 
With its roots in antiquity, welding technology has undergone significant evolution, particularly in recent decades, marked by advancements such as inverter technology. While the digital age has brought transformative changes, the last 2-3 years have witnessed a notable surge in artificial intelligence (AI). Concurrently, automation in metal joining has taken on a new outlook, and additive manufacturing is gaining prominence over traditional joining methods. Looking ahead, the future of welding technology is shaped by the trinity of AI, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Companies with a strong technological foundation and a forward-thinking mindset are poised to gain a substantial advantage in this evolving landscape.

How does robotics help in welding and joining metals?  
Robotics brings expansive applications across diverse industries, encompassing packaging, manufacturing, and material handling. However, when delving into welding technology, robotics becomes particularly crucial. In burgeoning manufacturing hubs like India, where mass production demands consistency and uniformity in thousands or even lakhs of components, the significance of robotics in welding is high. Despite the vast workforce in populous countries, achieving identical precision in every element is challenging due to human variability. This is where robotics replaces human hands and ensures a consistent welding process.

In the context of robotic welding, the initial perception that robots solely drive automation is evolving. The industry has recognised that the synergy between robotic systems and welding technology is paramount. Robotic welding extends beyond mere automation, involving various materials, diverse processes, and evolving challenges. The automotive industry is undergoing a substantial shift, particularly in the four-wheeler and heavy engineering sectors, where critical components are increasingly being welded using robotic systems. Achieving a seamless integration of different processes and robot types is imperative to deliver precise and effective solutions in this evolving landscape.

How does your R&D innovate welding tech for diverse industries?
Fronius stands out as a technology-centric company, boasting a robust research and development (R&D) division supported by over 800 scientists and engineers working tirelessly behind the scenes. Our focus revolves around continuous innovation in welding processes and technological features tailored to meet the diverse needs of various industries. The company’s footprint extends across a spectrum of sectors, beginning with the automotive industry, encompassing two-wheelers and four-wheelers, and further branching into aerospace, defence, railway, and heavy metal engineering.

Adapting to the unique challenges presented by different industries, we address shifts in material preferences, such as the move towards aluminium, high-strength steel, and other innovative sheet materials. With a keen awareness of the evolving landscape, the R&D team at Fronius continuously develops processes that effectively solve these challenges, supporting industries ranging from agriculture to aerospace and commercial transportation.

Considering India’s vast and diverse population, Fronius recognises the multifaceted demands within the country. The technologies developed by the company, not limited to India, enjoy global popularity and acceptance. We acknowledge the dynamic nature of industries and maintain a futuristic approach in our R&D endeavours, always anticipating upcoming trends and proactively developing new technologies to meet the needs of the future.

What sustainability standards are maintained by Fronius? 
At Fronius, our guiding principles revolve around three core values: people, profit, and planet. Regarding the planet, we are deeply committed to sustainability, recognising our responsibility to care for the Earth and ensuring that our actions do not harm the environment. This commitment is not just rhetoric; we actively incorporate sustainability into our products, using recycled materials to minimise our ecological footprint.

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In addition to our environmental responsibility, we also prioritise our customers. We aim for our customers to embrace sustainability and profitability, aligning with our values. Our focus extends beyond mere product sales; we provide beneficial and sustainable solutions for our customers.

How is Fronius creating an awareness programme to train young and traditional welders? 
Addressing the significant disparity between traditional welders and the industry’s evolving demands, we are actively involved in building a skilled workforce and raising awareness about cutting-edge welding technology. Recognising the outdated nature of current skill development curricula in institutions like ITIs, Fronius takes on the role of a bridge. Through initiatives such as the Fronius Academia Center for Training and Skill Development (FACT), we take recent graduates and technicians from these institutes and provide them with a 45-day sponsored training program. This initiative aims to equip them with advanced skills, making them industry-ready and guaranteeing employment, all without any cost to the candidates.

Along with empowering the new generation, we also uplift existing welders from the traditional or previous generation. For current customers, we offer tailored training programs, ensuring that they stay abreast of the latest advancements in the industry. Unlike the structured 45-day program for fresh talent, these training sessions for existing welders are need-based and application-based. Through these efforts, we strive to enhance awareness and proficiency in welding, catering to both emerging professionals and those already established in the field.

Please brief us about future aims and collaboration.  
We are committed to fostering strong partnerships and delivering comprehensive customer support. Whether the requirement is for welding solutions, robotic applications, or automation, Fronius positions itself as a collaborative consultant, offering assistance throughout the entire process, from pre- to post-operation.

Additionally, we have established numerous Centers of Excellence through collaborations with over 50 educational institutions, including engineering colleges and IITs. This collaborative effort extends beyond Fronius, as the company leads field development programs nationwide. The goal is to broaden the scope of education in welding technology, enabling students from various institutes to explore and pursue careers in welding at different academic levels, from undergraduate to postgraduate and even doctoral levels. This dual commitment to industry collaboration and education institutes underscores Fronius’ dedication to advancing welding technology.

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