Nornickel's first welding robot goes online

The new ultraprecise robot is capable of carrying out all types of welding and cutting operations, including laser cutting. The process is made safer and more eco-friendly through automation.

Operator controls Kawasaki robot welding operation

NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary’s first welding robot is being piloted at the Construction Materials Plant of Norilsk Production Support Complex. There are a number of major ongoing construction projects in Norilsk, which requires the plant to boost the volume and quality of output. To that end, it has introduced the Japanese Kawasaki industrial robot, making Norilsk Russia’s northernmost territory to implement robot welding.

The design comprises three robots, two welders and a positioner, with the last serving as a barrier between the robot and an operator and offering protection from welding sparks. Two rotary tilting tables allow for convenient workpiece positioning, which increases throughput, efficiency, and welding seam quality. The robot boosts productivity by around three times.

Bright welding sparks during operation

«You do not need a software expert to configure the robot — it is all done automatically. Any welder or person familiar with computer numerical control machines, plasma or laser will easily figure it out. After setting an algorithm once, you can run it again as many times as you wish, and the robot will do the rest,» says Alexander Nazvanov, an engineer at FAM-Robotics — the official integrator of Kawasaki industrial robots in Russia.

The robot makes welding safer while also reducing the CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossary’s environmental footprint. It is remote-controlled and automatically shuts down when somebody else enters the operating area.

«This is a pilot project, but if everything goes well, we will bring in more industrial robots,» says Igor Gladkov, acting head of the mineral wool products, electrodes and metal profiling shop at the Construction Materials Plant of Norilsk Production Support Complex.