Cobots for welding: A complete guide

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Cobots for welding: A complete guide

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Cobots represent a significant shift in robotics, promoting a more human-centered approach to automation. They offer the potential to boost productivity, improve safety, and create new opportunities for collaboration between humans and machines.

In this article we are going to focus on the cobots for welding, but first we need to understand the whole concept. So, let’s start with the basics.

What is a collaborative robot?

A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, is a robot designed to safely work alongside humans in a shared workspace. Unlike traditional industrial robots, which are often caged and programmed for fixed tasks, cobots are smaller, more flexible, and equipped with features that enable them to interact with humans without causing harm.

Key aspects of collaborative robots

Safety: Cobots are equipped with advanced sensors and software that let them recognize when a human is nearby. They are designed with rounded corners and padded features to reduce the risk of impact injuries. Many have force sensing that makes the robot stop if it contacts a person.

Ease of Use: Collaborative robots are relatively easy for workers to program and deploy without specialized knowledge. They can learn tasks through leading by hand or graphical user interfaces instead of complex code.

Flexible Deployment: Cobots are portable, compact and modular. They can be mounted on floors, ceilings, walls or workstations to accommodate space constraints. Their flexibility allows for easy redeployment as needed.

Intuitive Interaction: Humans and cobots can work in close proximity using hand guiding controls, push buttons or the robot stopping when a person enters its operating envelope. This enables fluid, shared handling of tasks.

Collaboration: Cobots are designed to work with humans, not replace them. Cobots can assist with tasks, handle repetitive work, and complement human skills.

Cost-effectiveness: Generally less expensive than traditional industrial robots, offering faster setup and deployment.

Collaborative robots are transforming production environments by working in harmony with human workers safely, intuitively and productively. Their advantages allow automation in spaces too small or complex for traditional industrial robots.

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What are cobots for welding?

A cobot for welding, also known as a collaborative welding robot, is a type of industrial robot designed to work safely alongside human welders.

Unlike traditional industrial robots, which are typically large, powerful, and enclosed in cages for safety reasons, cobots are smaller, lighter, and designed to be user-friendly and easy to program. This makes them ideal for tasks like welding, where precision and flexibility are important.

Key aspects of cobots for welding

Area: Welding cobots are typically mounted on a movable arm or cart and have a welding torch attached as an end effector. They can be programmed to carry out repetitive welding tasks while the human welder handles more complex tasks.

Assistance: They provide assistance by holding heavy welding components, reaching hard to access weld joints, maintaining consistent weld positions and angles, and reducing strain on human welders from difficult positions or repetitive motion.

Productivity: Welding cobots increase productivity, weld quality consistency, reduce worker fatigue and injury risk. At the same time, they allow the human welder to focus on handling exceptions, quality checks and applying their specialized skills where needed.

Payloads: Most models have payload capacities from 5-15 kg suitable for typical welding tools and applications. Their flexibility allows them to be integrated by small job shops or large manufacturing facilities alike.

Cobots for welding are designed to collaborate with welders to improve ergonomics, quality and productivity for a safer, more efficient welding process.

What are the differences between a cobot and a 6-axis welding robot?

Anyone who is thinking on automate his welding production plant have both options on the table. By considering the differences, you can be assured if cobots for welding are the right option for you.

Collaboration vs. Isolation

Cobot: Designed to work interactively and safely alongside humans. They operate in shared workspaces without requiring safety cages or extensive separation.

6-axis Welding Robot: Typically isolated in caged workspaces due to their speed, power, and potential for harm. Human interaction is limited for safety reasons.

Flexibility vs. Precision

Cobot: More flexible and adaptable for diverse tasks due to lightweight design, intuitive programming, and quick redeployment. Ideal for changing tasks or smaller weldments.

6-axis Welding Robot: Highly precise and powerful for repetitive, high-volume welding applications requiring maximum consistency and accuracy. Often programmed for specific, fixed tasks.


Cobot: Equipped with built-in safety features like force sensors, collision detection, and limited speed/power outputs to avoid injury to humans.

6-axis Welding Robot: Relies on external safety measures like cages, light curtains, and emergency stop buttons due to their potential for harm.

Other Differences

Payload capacity: Large 6-axis robots designed specifically for welding can handle heavy parts (up to ~1000 kg payloads) and access hard-to-reach joints while maintaining extremely precise torch angles and positioning accuracy down to ~0.1 mm in many cases. Cobots have lower payloads (<15 kg) and precision, but offer adequate welding capability for simpler tasks.

Speed and range of motion: Industrial robots are often faster and have larger working ranges than cobots.

Cost: Cobots are generally more cost-effective than industrial robots due to their simpler design and programming. An industrial 6-axis welding robot with programming, peripherals and integration support is upwards of $100,000+, while collaborative welding robots are typically $30,000 or less.

What are the advantages of working with cobots for welding?

Working with collaborative robots for welding offers advantages that you don’t want to miss. Here’s a breakdown:

Improved Safety: Cobots are designed to work safely alongside humans. Their smaller size, slower speed, and built-in safety features like force sensors significantly reduce the risk of injury compared to traditional industrial robots.

Increased Productivity: They can handle tedious or repetitive tasks, freeing up human workers for more complex or value-added activities. This can lead to increased overall productivity and output.

Cost-effectiveness: Cobots are generally less expensive than traditional industrial robots. They often have simpler designs, require less extensive safety fencing, and are easier to install and program, leading to lower upfront and ongoing costs.

Flexibility and Adaptability: They are lightweight and easily reprogrammed, allowing you to adapt them to different tasks and production needs. This makes them well-suited for dynamic work environments with changing requirements.

Improved Quality: Cobots can perform tasks with high precision and repeatability, leading to improved product quality and reduced waste.

Ergonomics: They can take over strenuous, repetitive and dangerous tasks from human workers to improve workplace ergonomics and safety.

Enhanced Employee Morale: By taking over physically demanding or repetitive tasks, cobots can improve employee morale and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. They also can see that automation is not going to take their jobs away, but is it going to make them more productive.

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What are the disadvantages of working with cobots for welding?

Of course, working with cobots for welding also has disadvantages, which you should carefully consider before integrating them into your workplace. Here are they:

Limited Payload and Speed: Cobots typically have lower payload capacities and slower speeds compared to traditional industrial robots. This may limit their suitability for heavy-duty tasks or high-volume production.

Safety Concerns: Although designed for safety, cobots are not completely risk-free. Improper interaction or malfunction can still lead to injuries. Proper training and safety protocols are crucial.

Limited Autonomy: Cobots typically require human oversight and guidance, unlike traditional robots that can operate independently. This can limit their applicability for certain tasks.

Change Management: Workers may need training and time to adjust to working alongside and trusting collaborative robots as teammates.

Despite these disadvantages, cobots for welding are a valuable resource. Integrating them effectively requires careful planning, training, and adaptation to maximize their benefits while mitigating potential drawbacks.

Start the 2024 with cobots for welding in your production plan

Cobots for welding bring automation to new environments due to their accessibility, safety and ergonomic collaboration with people.

If you’re considering using cobots for welding, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to choose a cobot that is right for your specific needs (payload capacities, reach, and features). Second, you’ll need to make sure that your welding shop is set up for cobots. This may involve installing safety fencing or making other modifications. Finally, you’ll need to train your employees on how to use and program cobots safely and effectively.

Overall, cobots for welding offer a number of benefits that can make them a valuable asset for any welding shop. If you’re looking for ways to improve safety, productivity, and quality, cobots may be the right solution for you.

If you are in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, or any other country in the Americas, we can offer you a cobot for welding that can suit your needs. They are configurable and come with the equipment needed for you to start using it as soon as you receive it. Feel free to reach out to any of our experts to learn more about our Codibot.

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Codinter Editorial Team

Codinter Editorial Team

The Codinter Editorial Team is composed of a diverse and multinational group of specialists, researchers, and writers, equipped with field experiences throughout decades of developing solutions with technology for industrial purposes.

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