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Meeting Demand in the Face of Welder Labour Shortages with Welding Cobots

With an ageing workforce of welders in the UK, an estimated 50% of which are set to retire by 2027, the manufacturing and construction sectors are at breaking point. A recent report from Construction Skills Network (CSN) estimates that 36,000 new jobs will be created, and attracting new welding talent will be vital to filling these gaps in production.

However, what if there are no new welders to hire? As highly skilled welders head off to enjoy their retirement, without a sufficient influx of qualified workers to fill their shoes, businesses will need to look to new technologies to meet production demands.

Enhancing efficiency with meticulous precision, welding cobots are providing a viable solution to labour shortages. Preventing unnecessary downtime, improving safety, and consistently producing high quality products, automation is transforming the welding tasks to ensure businesses thrive in these challenging times.

What Are Welding Cobots? 

Welding cobots automate a number of welding processes, with MIG/MAG, TIG, arc, spot, ultrasonic and plasma welds all possible with the help of collaborative robots.

Consisting of a robotic arm, welding torch, power source and teach pendant, welding cobots can be fixed onto a welding table, or made moveable like our own flexible welding solution, CoboWeld Mobile

A key advantage of a cobot welder is their ability to work alongside humans, rather than replacing them. In fact, experienced welders are still needed to program cobots and ensure the quality of final welds. This collaboration between human and machine provides the perfect synergy to create a more efficient and precise welding process. 

human working with welding cobot

Cobot vs Manual Welding 

By adopting automation and leveraging the advantages of a cobot welding, businesses can improve productivity and welding quality, while reducing costs and overcoming labour shortages. Welding with cobots provides the perfect balance between the speed and accuracy of industrial robots, and the flexibility and adaptability of human welders. 

It is important to note that human welders do have some advantages over cobots. Humans can rely on their experience and intuition to make quick decisions and think outside the box, which can be essential for certain welding tasks. In these cases, the use of cobots allows repetitive tasks to be automated and humans free to focus on more specialised welding tasks.

The Advantage of Welding with Cobots

Cost effective and requiring less space than industrial robots, welding cobots are an attractive option for many businesses looking to grow production while keeping costs under control.

Cobot welding delivers a number of significant benefits over manual welding, such as:

Consistent quality: maintaining a high level of weld quality with unparalleled accuracy, cobots deliver exceptional product quality, while also reducing rework to ultimately save time, money and resources.

Increase productivity: welding cobots work tirelessly without breaks, delivering a higher output and shorter production cycles.

Improve efficiency: performing repetitive tasks for as long as you need them to, cobots can easily adapt to changing production demands with minimal downtime and significant reconfiguration to support gaps in production.

Enhanced safety: welding in an inherently dangerous job, exposing humans to toxic fumes, eye injuries and burns. Cobots reduce exposure to hazardous welding environments to improve workplace safety.

CoboWeld Mobile welding cobot

Introducing CoboWeld Mobile, Mini, Midi and Maxi

Recently launching our expanded range of welding cobots, CoboWeld is already transforming the industry. Utilising the latest welding software, pre-programmed welds can be stored and recalled immediately for new tasks. Welders can even use the programming flange to manually move the cobot’s arm during programming to set points and teach it how to carry out the desired weld. 

CoboWeld Mobile provides the flexibility to quickly and easily reposition the cobot in different weld cells and areas across the shop floor. Our fixed unit welding cobots, CoboWeld Mini, CoboWeld Midi and CoboWeld Maxi, are designed to accommodate every welding space and task with a range of sizes to suit every SME. 

CoboWeld Maxi welding cobot

The Innovative Solution to Welder Shortages

The welding skills shortage in the UK will dissipate any time soon. Requiring innovative and strategic intervention to help manufacturers meet demand and grow their business, automation with welding cobots is the best possible option to overcome these labour shortages.

Our range of welding cobots are highly versatile and utilise the latest technologies from our partners at Universal Robots and Smooth Robotics.

If you’re unsure which cobot is right for you, or would like to see CoboWeld in action, contact the Cobots Online team who are here to enhance your welding performance and efficiency.

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