Robotic Laser Cladding Application

Thermaspray leads the field in providing advanced thermal spray coating technology solutions based on a number of highly specialised processes, and have recently expanded their service offering to include laser cladding.

Laser cladding is used to refurbish components subjected to degradation by wear, corrosion, abrasion, oxidation or cavitation, all of which result in reduced service life and increased maintenance costs. Laser cladding improves the performance and extends the service life of components, and restores components to a better-than-new state.  The parts that are typically cladded, are parts that are normally expensive when new, are critical components or are difficult to obtain.

After the solution was delivered and installed by a European systems integrator, Thermaspray experienced constant reliability issues with the robot delivered from Europe as part of the solution.

Robotic Innovations was requested by Thermaspray to supply and integrate a new Fanuc robot into the system to ensure reliability with the additional advantage of local support. Thermaspray were concerned that the Fanuc robot would not be able to be integrated with the laser system. However our team were able to retrofit the equipment on the Fanuc R-2000iC 165F robot, and control all the required digital and analog signals through a Siemens PLC without any major issues.

Jordaan, Laser Cladding Manager of Thermaspray, was very impressed with the seamless implementation of this robotic system and the aftersales support. He stated that because of the reliability of this new Fanuc robot, he has become confident to aggressively market their new service offering.

With a tight deadline, the Robotic Innovations team successfully integrated the Fanuc robot with the laser system. From order to start of production was a mere 10 days.

After some thorough training, Thermaspray has become fully independent as every laser cladded part will require custom programming for each part.