In the age of big data, data processing and analysis are also gaining ground in the welding technology sector. Modern welding systems record different types of information, which allows processes to be optimized and errors to be avoided. With this in mind, Fronius has developed WeldCube, a documentation and data analysis system.
Where manual adjustment may take approximately two hours on 15 welding systems, WeldCube can transfer this data in less than five minutes. Around 50 power sources can be networked with WeldCube, depending on the dimensioning of the server. The browser-based software collects data on current, voltage, wire feed, welding speed, and much more. The data management system then allows users to exploit this information to improve welding processes. A customizable dashboard (start page) with various statistics and filter functions provides a simple overview, ensuring the user always has the most important data to hand. In addition, the results are not only available on the computer, but also on mobile devices.
WeldCube documents the actual values of each weld seam, thus enabling a comparison to be made with the target values. Networking helps to automatically document data, not only per machine but also across devices at component level. Above all, this promotes the transparency and traceability of each component produced. Analyzing gas, wire, energy, and filler metals helps to optimize consumption rates. In addition, a documentation and data analysis system provides considerable support for welding coordination personnel in companies that are subject to documentation requirements. Where previously the seam had only been inspected using just the naked eye and the entire documentation had been prepared by hand in advance, the integration of an automated system such as WeldCube most significantly saves time and costs. Last but not least, WeldCube also enhances quality assurance, which can be particularly advantageous in the event of a claim for damages.
Another advantage of networked welding systems is the saving and transfer of jobs – defined parameters for a specific welding task – to other devices. Where manual adjustment may take approximately two hours on 15 welding systems, WeldCube can transfer this data in less than five minutes. Even a component report can be easily created in just three clicks. This is precisely why Fronius also relies on the data management system. For example, the Fronius production facility in Sattledt (Upper Austria) has integrated WeldCube into its production line for welding system trolleys. Furthermore, using WeldCube internally is a great help in terms of its ongoing development. New findings for the system can be immediately tuned to suit customer requirements in the form of software adaptation. This way, WeldCube supports a modern production operation and helps to sustainably optimize processes while reducing costs.
“First and foremost, the data documentation meets the high-quality requirements that Fronius places on its products. This enables us to detect errors early on, take rapid action, and optimize our processes”, explains Christoph Schiefer, Team Leader Sheet Metal Technology Assembly and Foam Sealing Systems at Fronius.