Eliminating Supply Chain Obstacles Through Automation
American Friction Welding (AFW) is committed to developing long-term friction welding solutions and customer partnerships. As North America’s largest friction welder, we’ll do everything in our power to meet and exceed your supply chain challenges - through innovative product development, investing in dedicated work cells, and developing automated welding systems. The welding solution featured below exhibits our commitment to this process. Contact AFW to discuss your manual welding applications suitable for friction welding automation!
FRW Automation Video
AFW operates two high-precision 15-ton automated welding cells dedicated to the automotive industry. Both cells automatically weld three components into one part, with two separate friction welds between dissimilar metals - each quality weld following computer-controlled weld parameters to exacting standards.
Welding Innovation in the Making
A major automotive supplier approached American Friction Welding to develop a friction welding solution for the auto industry. The manufacturing process resulted from AFW’s engineering consultation and collaborative design, successfully fusing three components, including dissimilar metals, into a single part. The 500,000 yearly volume pointed to an automated welding process.
AFW developed a fully automated manufacturing cell featuring a Thompson 15-ton rotary welder, two vibrating loading bowls, a lifting hopper, and many pneumatic and electronic supporting functions to manage components. Each weld is performed by computer control, ensuring the highest weld quality and adhering to a strict welding parameter.
As demand grew, so did the need for a second automation system to increase productivity and provide manufacturing redundancy. This time AFW sought a robotic welding system. The cell utilizes a robotic arm to load components into computer-controlled 15-ton Thompson welding equipment between weld cycles. This cell manufactures different size variations and uses a camera with the welding robot for part verification.
Today, both cells operate two shifts, six days a week, with an annual yield of over 800,000 units.