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Have Weld; Will Travel – In all Positions

Apr. 09, 2014

The 2014 year is off to an exciting start.  BUG-O Systems is looking to keep moving forward with its release of the new Robotic Welding System displayed at November ’13 FABTECH Show in Chicago.  This system looks to revolutionize the welding industry with its trackless, self-guided design. Using a unique steering algorithm developed by the staff at Robotic Technologies of Tennessee (RTT) the system can align itself with a weld joint via minute steering corrections from the user. 


With the conclusion of field tests nearing their end, it was an honor to be able to demonstrate the system for the staff at a Shipyard in Quonset Point, Rhode Island at the end of March.  For the requirements of this demo, as requested by the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP), the machine had to successfully demonstrate the abilities to not only weld a butt joint, but to also grind the weld pre- and post-weld.  As displayed at FABTECH, the machine was originally designed for inspection and welding purposes with the ability to grind only added near the end-of-life for the panel project, with the panel project being the original starting point for this machines existence.


With the already given popularity of the welding platform, it was expected that the grinding addition would also be a huge hit.  So popular, in fact, that application in grinding can already be expected to exceed that of the welding setup.  With the ever increasing call for more safety today and the increased use of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) the grinder being removed from a humans hands, of course with that human still running the machine remotely, would drastically reduce the injuries seen in the work environment and create a better “way of life” for laborers.


During the month of March, BUG-O also began demonstrations with shipyards that are outside of the NSRP spectrum to promote the machine’s versatility and to also introduce it to the various workforce industries around the United States.  The first demo was conducted with Shipyards located on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.  Primarily a location to construct several types of ocean-going barges, the tractor is a highly anticipated addition for the crews to help with all the grinding and welding taking place here.  Thanks to the exceptional holding power of the tractors magnetic drivetrain, the mobile platform was proven to run on materials as thin as 12-gauge steel (0.105 in.) up to required thicknesses in excess of 1 inch or more at the facility.


With the conclusion of testing finishing up early this Summer it is expected that BUG-O Systems will roll off its first units from the production line later this year to a host of shipyards as well as other manufacturing facilities.  With the multitude of attachments that the machine will have available for welding, grinding, cutting, inspections and manipulation it’s very difficult to find something it can’t do.