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Novarc Technologies Has Created A Welding Robot That Is Changing The Face Of Welding By Helping Humans Weld Better And Faster

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Novarc is providing a solution for traditional industries to automate more affordably. A global leader in the construction industry is implementing three Spool Welding Robots to work collaboratively with their welders to achieve enhanced weld quality and increased safety. Below is our recent interview with Soroush Karimzadeh, CEO and Co-Founder of Novarc Technologies:

Q: Can you tell us something more about the company and what you do?

A: Novarc Technologies has created a collaborative welding robot designed to work alongside a human operator. Novarc’s Spool Welding Robot is the first of its kind in pipe welding applications and significantly improves productivity on the shop floor, and reduces costs of the pipe shop.

Novarc’s welding robot is essentially changing the face of welding by helping human welders to weld better and faster and providing a solution for traditional industries to automate more affordably.

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Q: What are the advantages of the Spool Welding Robot?

A: Officially launched at FABTECH in 2017, Novarc’s SWR has built a reputation for its unique form factor and advanced features for pipe welding not unlike a human’s precision and dexterity, with an operator-friendly user interface, adaptive control systems for accurate torch control, and machine learning algorithms to detect features.

Q: Your Spool Welding Robot was recently installed at one of the largest shipyards in Canada; could you tell us something more?

A: Seaspan, Canada’s leading shipbuilder, recently installed Novarc’s SWR to help complete the Ballast Water Treatment System at their Vancouver Drydock. While the work itself was a new type of refit project for Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock, according to Seaspan, the technology used in the installation process was an even more exciting and innovative first for the yard. The Ballast Water Treatment system was installed with the assistance of Novarc’s SWR, using advanced control techniques. Our cutting edge, robotic systems will soon be used across Seaspan’s shipyards in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, allowing the company’s pipe welding to be done dramatically more effectively, and efficiently.

Q: How can the collaborative robot allow the pipe welding shops to reach new levels of productivity?

A: Novarc’s Spool Welding Robot (SWR) can result in a 4x increase in throughput and production capacity, and has the potential to recoup its cost in less than six months.

Given the required repetitive and precise movement of the torch during welding, welders’ fatigue is an ongoing issue in the industry. Over time, fatigue and repetitive motion often develop into chronic musculoskeletal disorders. But when utilizing a cobot, the torch is manipulated by the cobot and welders’ fatigue is reduced dramatically. Welders primarily only monitor the welding process and, if necessary, steer the welding torch or adjust the parameters of the weld process, allowing the individual to be more productive, and contribute to greater productivity for the pipe shop operator.

As a collaborative robot, the SWR also helps increase shop productivity as it can be operated by a less experienced welder. This means the fabrication shop managers can redeploy their high-value labour to other key projects while lowering the cost of their roll welding operations.

Q: Why is now the time for a technology solution like Novarc Technologies?

A: To improve weld quality and shop productivity, many fabricators in the global market have resorted to automation, and many traditional industries have been required to automate in order to stay competitive. The development of new, sophisticated intelligent systems equipped with continuously improving AI, such as Novarc’s SWR, are motivating the leading players in the construction and fabrication industries to adopt robotic technologies that can incorporate such AI systems. The welding industry is looking to adopt these technologies in order to solve the shortage of qualified welders, accommodate the millennial workforce and solve the cleantech challenges of this century.

Q: Some have described Novarc’s SWR as a game changer in the industry?

A: Novarc’s SWR is essentially changing the way in which the industry is welding pipes. Recently, we launched a unique offering in the field integrating artificial intelligence and machine vision: NovEye™. NovEye™ is a weld monitoring system with a camera built into the SWR robotic arm which processes each weld image and reduces the number of inputs required from operators allowing them to perform more welds in less time, while still producing better quality welds.

Using algorithms developed by Novarc, NovEye™ can find the centre of the root gap, measure the gap and detect tacks in real time. Operators essentially get a clear view from inside the groove on the HMI as each weld progresses. Supervisors get videos of all welds to analyze in parallel with the weld parameters saved by NovData™ to improve weld quality. In the future, NovEye™ will allow the Novarc SWR to reach even higher automation levels with the ability to detect anomalies.

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Q: What are some of the main objectives for Novarc Technologies going into 2020 and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: Nocarc will continue to expand its international presence in Europe,the Middle East, and China, and as well in North America, with its global distributor – ABICOR BINZEL.

Novarc also will continue its R&D and innovation, with the goal to contribute positively to the environment. Novarc has launched a three-year project with academic and industry partners in Germany and Canada to design an innovative welding solution for welding applications within the manufacturing sector, incorporating machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. These new proprietary welding cobots will be a new development for the manufacturing industry, specifically based on Novarc’s robotic platform. This partnership includes the University of British Columbia, and the Fraunhofer Society, one of the largest organizations for applied research in Europe.

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