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What makes a good robotic cable Assembly?

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When it comes to welding automation, cable assemblies might not be your top priority. You may overlook an important part of your torch while you are comparing all the available robot torch options. Your automated welding process will be more efficient if your cable assembly is of high quality.
Imagine what the torch’s cables assembly does for itself. The cable assembly supplies power to everything from your wire feeder, your contact tip, and your filler metallic. Automated welding requires that there is very little downtime between welds. You will need a high quality cable assembly to do this. A higher quality assembly can increase production, produce a better product, and improve the profitability of your welder cell.

It is important to understand what makes a quality robot cable and what distinguishes it from a bad one. The quality of a robot cable is determined by its physical and technical characteristics. These are signs that it is suitable for your welding automation. First, make sure that the cable assembly you choose is appropriate for your application. This refers to the cable rating.

The rating of your cable should be equal to the welding process. Also, you need to know how much current will be flowing through the cable and how long the duty cycle is. A cable that is too large will not transfer current better than a properly sized one. It is a waste to buy a cable that is not rated for your specific needs. A 600 amp cable will not weld better or faster if you need only 300 amps to obtain a high quality weld output from your materials. A 600 amp cable won’t weld at 350amp if the machine you have is limited to 350 amp.
Physical Characteristics for a Good Welding Torch cable

A high-quality robotic cable assembly will offer good wear protection. You can protect your cable with insulation or cable covers. However, it should not be too rigid to restrict the cable’s flexibility.

A worn cable will result in decreased current transfer, increased resistance and hot points in different sections. This can be dangerous and could cause your robot to stop working.

Check the cable for quality when you are looking at different options for cable assemblies. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

Cable should be crimped equally on both sides
The cable has no weak or thin points
Proper Copper dosage for amperage requirements

Cables for Robotic Torch Cables

You should also consider the proper length of your cable for over-arm assembly cable assemblies. This will allow you to extend your robot arm fully and reach certain welds. The cable assembly that is pulled or slackened often will wear out much quicker.

Poorly made cables or poor quality cables will break faster under stress. Due to the cable being bent and repeatedly twisted, some cables can even have wire feeding issues.

It is essential to get the best from your cable assembly by finding the right balance between slack and wear.
Robotic Torch Cables for Through-arm Use

While through-arm assemblies do not require a wire, the cable is still required for their functions. Cable length is the main difference between a through-arm assembly and an over-arm system. It is important because it is limited in space.

Most specifications for througharm cable lengths are within a few millimeters. This is quite different than an overarm system. It will allow for a maximum of six inches or even a full foot.
Cables with water-cooled robotic torch

Water-cooled cable assemblies are another option. The heat generated during current transfer is dissipated by water-cooled cables makes them great. A 500A air-cooled 500A cable is almost 3/4″ in diameter. A 500A watercooled cable is approximately 3/8″. A water-cooled assembly also has a neck that is water-cooled. This means that water will be cooled down to the tip holders to help dissipate current and reflective heat. You might consider hybrid cable assemblies if you cannot afford a watercooled assembly.

Hybrid Robotic Welding Cable Assemblies

A hybrid cable assembly has the cable itself cooling in air, while its front parts (neck and contact tip holder etc.) are cooling in water. Your front parts (neck, contact tips holder, etc.), are water-cooled in a hybrid cable assembly. You still get the benefits of a Water-cooled Front End with the cost savings offered by an Air-cooled Cable.

The use of a hybrid cable assembly could not be the best option for your particular welding process. This is because it has potential for amperage limits and increased wear due to using the less durable air-cooled cables.

Consider all options when selecting a cable for your welding automation process. Make sure you consider all possible options. But, don’t forget the importance of high quality robot welding cables. Putting in extra effort upfront will pay big dividends in terms of production up-time.