Robotisation in Russia’s welding industry: the state of play


Robotisation is one of Russian welding’s most important recent trends.

The use of automated systems stimulates production technology improvement, as well as bringing work speed and quality to a whole new level. Today, it’s difficult to imagine many key industries operating without the active use of robotic solutions.

A look at the worldwide industrial robots market

Research from the International Federation of Robots states worldwide robotic sales are growing year-on-year. Now, hundreds of thousands of units a year are being bought by all sorts of companies across the globe.

In 2017, for example, 381,000 industrial robots were commissioned globally. By 2018, the figure had risen to 384,000.

The automotive industry currently holds the largest market share of robots, with 33%. The electronics industry and metallurgy each have the next largest segment shares at 32% and 10% respectively.

However, welding takes the largest share of robots used in production and manufacturing. This is because welding is a type of work that requires increased accuracy, reliability, and a methodological approach to production. This can be easily provided by specialised programmable equipment.

Robots in Russia

Despite the big benefits industrial robots offer, their adoption in Russia is currently behind global trends.
The annual number of robots in use throughout Russia is comparatively very small. For context, 2017 saw 713 units in use throughout Russia. In 2018, the number had reached 860.

This is due to several factors. Firstly, there are high prices for such specialised equipment in Russia. Second is the complexity of setting up supporting software. Programming robots requires a complete understanding of the working environment and all its operational nuances. Only highly qualified specialists can be involved in this process.

As such, there’s a perception in Russia that industrial robotics are really only advisable for use in the largest industries specifically requiring an output boost but with a reduction in labour costs.

However, recent trends are showing this may also be applicable to Russian SMEs too.

Production efficiency when small robots are used is so high that it makes sense to use. Indicators of how product quality can be improved in a short space of time comes to the fore. In this respect, robotic systems have no equal and can offer quick ROI.

Additionally, many global manufacturers are pursuing the widespread adoption of affordable technologies. Companies are gradually introducing cheaper, easier-to-manage solutions to the market, suitable for large scale factories and small workshops.

Based on this, in the coming years, we can expect an increase in sales of welding robots in Russia.

Welding robots’ top advantages

Welding robots are capable of covering a multitude of typical welding tasks, including:
  • Arc welding
  • Inert gas welding
  • Non-consumable electrode welding
  • Resistance spot welding
Robots’ chief advantage is that they can, time and time again, repeat the same operation with constant accuracy and quality. In turn, this improves speed, reliability, and efficiency.

They can also be used in different production stages, be that prep work, such as marking and cleaning workpieces, or positioning parts, or the actually processes of welding, cutting or soldering.

Modern robots are equipped with sensor systems, laser scanning, and technical vision. Such technologies mean work parameters are easily controllable, keep safety standards high, and offer exceptional convenience.
The use of welding robots minimises the human factor in welding, which itself is a hazardous task. Thus, this limits risk of injury and negative health defects inherent to welding.

With proper programming, operation, and timely replacement of consumable and wearing parts, one industrial robot can serve from 10-15 years, basically paying for itself in the process.

Weldex: showcasing welding robots to the Russian market

Despite being a young market, production and selling welding robots in Russia holds enormous promise.

Discover the opportunities in Russia at Weldex: the nation’s number one welding technology exhibition.

In 2019, Weldex will be hosting an industrial robots sector, letting Russia’s chief metalworking equipment buyers easily find they solutions they want – and their manufacturers.

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