Tindall Corporation has implemented a new Miller PerformArc 750S robotic welding machine to be used in the steel shop at their Virginia manufacturing facility.
The process began when Tindall consulted their welding partner, Airgas, to find a solution for a dwindling workforce of skilled welders in the area. One option was to purchase a welding robot. In the summer of 2017, engineering co-op student Ashton Daniel, from North Carolina State University, was tasked with the assignment to research and justify the acquisition of the robot. After presenting her findings on cost and labor efficiency, the technology was approved and ordered. The 16-week lead time for robot and fixture delivery provided an opportunity for Ashton to oversee the installation and implementation during her second co-op term.
The equipment is three times more productive than manual welding. Tindall chose a turntable design, so the operator can continue working in tandem with the robot. It is capable of welding bearing plates, chord connectors, foundation connections, and flange connectors.
“Tindall has always been an early adopter of innovative technology in the precast industry,” said Isaac Perkins, Plant Manager at Tindall’s Virginia Division. “Our team is excited to learn about how this new tool can help them do their jobs more efficiently.”
A team of six, including Ashton Daniel and Barry Suggs, both in the Industrial Engineering Department, led the implementation of the new machinery. David Walton, one of Tindall’s welders, is the most experienced robot operator. Both Daniel and Walton attended training in Chicago to gain more knowledge and experience so that they can train others.