Welding Fixtures Design Service

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Camtek Software

FaaS (Fixture-as-a-Service) Case Study

Listen to first-hand experience from Ricky Rater, owner of Pearson Livestock Equipment

Pearson Livestock Equipment Website

Robotic Welding Fixtures: Design Tips and Best Practices

Read the blog post from our partner Hirebotics- it eloquently outlines the synergy between quick and affordable fixture production and robotic welding

Go To Blog

"Just-In-Time" Manufacturing

Welding Fixtures Design
Welding fixture design can be costly and expensive.

Welding fixtures can be expensive and complicated to design – and sometimes a product of simple luck and flaw. For manufacturers, the question is often “How fast can I get a fixture, at what cost and for what return?”. In this "just-in-time" (JIT) production world, short runs are becoming common. So, when fixturing can be done in part or in total using a quick and cheap manufacturing process, bidding on such jobs becomes attractive. 

Welding Fixture Design and Staffing Bottlenecks

Welding Fixture Design Service

When the demand for fixtures outweighs the manpower at hand, outsourcing the design for fixtures becomes attractive, our solution is likewise affordable.

Our tool designers consult with you about your fixture needs using online tools to do virtual meetings along with email and telephone calls. We are with you every step of the way.

Our solution uses our proprietary software solution generates the geometry for welding fixtures for cutting from flat sheet metal. Like a 3D jigsaw, fixture components must interlock to create a part fixture. While you could use SOLIDWORKS™ or similar, it requires time (staff), effort and most likely some subsequent manual editing.

Adapting Existing Processes for Fixturing

Welding Design

Hard tooling for traditional fixtures often depends on costly milling and other “non-sheet metal” processes. So, how can this be minimized? The simple answer is to marry the processes and machinery you already have‒ lasers, waterjets, punch presses, etc. ‒ to the appropriate CAD system. We provide the electronic data files for you to cut out in your shop or at a local sub-contractor.

Smarter Welding with Fixture Design

fixture Design
Historically, robotic welding is far more cost-effective in long run production than manual. But again, JIT demands more flexibility and thus, shorter runs. Although costs per part increase with short runs, the efficiency of robotic welding seems obvious. 

While “teach” methods for programming the robot remain the norm and allow for repeatability in small-batch runs, they present challenges when it comes to the speed of fixturing, leaving you to:

  • Conduct a short run without a robot, using a precious manpower to do the welding and make or source an expensive fixture.
  • Conduct a short run with a robot sitting idle while an expensive fixture is made or sourced.

You can cut the hard costs out of both processes by using "FaaS " to efficiently receive a fixture and ultimately increases the profitability of the job.

Upstream Changes

welding fixtures design
What if you encounter a slight upstream change requiring adjustment to the contact points between the fixture and the part? We can retrieve the original CAD model and make discreet geometric changes to your fixture and part as needed. In most instances, the affected fixture component can easily replace the previous one.

Standardization, Reducing Storage Space

welding fixture design service
Our software-generated fixturing can provide your shop with a standard methodology. As a result, you may find yourself using the same clamp manufacturer and likewise, the same approach to for many fixture designs. 

For example, in robotic welding, a pre-set table bolt-hole array is often present. Where appropriate, a generic “base plate” can be attached to the table with “tab slots” at a standard pitch interval. Fixture blades can then be inserted and locked to the base plate using an optional “clip foot” design, making assembly and disassembly of the fixture quick and easy. Even if the whole base plate and blade assembly is removed between jobs, the process is relatively simple and efficient. 

For those with a head and tailstock arrangement (an A or B axis), being able to explicitly define the base plate dimensions and bolt hole locations is particularly useful, as these parameters can be saved as the default for subsequent fixture development runs. Easily adding access apertures to the base plate for inverted or tilted welding operations is also beneficial.

Using a geometric design such as a “clip tab” mechanism eliminates the need to spot-weld your fixture for rigidity. It can be disassembled and stacked flat, saving space and reducing the need for storage expansion.

Cost Savings with our Welding Fixture Design

welding fixture
Feedback suggests our service can result in a 75 percent savings in time alone. If software makes use of scrap for fixtures, the actual production costs can be quite minimal. 

Costs can also vary by the lifespan of the fixture. FaaS gives you the flexibility to use cheap or scrap/remnant materials for short-run use or to use more-expensive, longer-lasting metal for frequently used fixtures. 

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Watch one of our fixtures in action

Tacking Stage
Full Weld-out Stage
Tacking Stage

Below is an example of a two step fixture courtesy of Clean Air America. The righthand station is the initial tacking fixture,  the other the full weld-out process.

Full Weld-out Stage

Below is an example of a two step fixture courtesy of Clean Air America. The righthand station is the initial tacking fixture,  the other the full weld-out process.

American Welding Society Member