Beacon: Simple Welding Robot Programming Software

      Rob Goldiez
      Post by Rob Goldiez
      March 28, 2024
      Beacon: Simple Welding Robot Programming Software

      Are you on the fence about stepping into automated welding? For most shop owners focusing on ROI and operational efficiency, this step can seem like a huge leap. It's the intricacies of skilled welding processes along with programming a robot that often poses the biggest challenge.

      With the Beacon teaching app from Hirebotics, what might initially appear daunting is turned into an easy, straightforward process that keeps your production line moving. Let's take a closer look at how Beacon simplifies the setup of cobot welders allowing you to incorporate automation into your production without any hassle.

      In this article, let’s discuss:

      • Traditional Teach Pendant Challenges
      • How Beacon Has Changed Welding Robot Programming
      • Easy Program Sharing with Beacon
      • Find Out How Beacon Can Improve Your Processes Today
      • FAQ

      Traditional Teach Pendant Challenges

      When working with robotic welders, using teach pendants has been the go-to for a long time. Teach pendants, the handheld devices used to control robots, have changed a lot over the years to match what's needed in factories and shops.

      In the early days, if you wanted to program a robot, you had to type in special codes using one of these pendants. You also had to know the specific programming language for each robot brand. That was a big ask for many weld shop owners.

      When cobots came onto the scene, teach pendants became a bit more user-friendly. They came with screens that showed graphics instead of just text, making the programming a bit easier to understand. Some robot manufacturers even came up with special apps to run on the pendant for specific applications.

      But even with these newer, easier-to-use teach pendants, there are still some big headaches:

      • Complexity: Sure, the graphics help, but you still need to know quite a bit about robots and how to program them like understanding TCP, tool axis, approach positions… For a lot of shop owners, getting over this hurdle can feel like too much trouble.

      • Cost and time: Learning to use these devices properly, or paying someone who already knows how, costs time and money. That's not always manageable for smaller or mid-size shops.

      • Difficult to change tasks: If you need to tweak something in the robot's program, you need to have someone around who knows how to do it. The flexibility to make quick changes isn't really there with traditional teach pendants, which can be a problem in fast-paced work environments.

      While teach pendants are still an important component in robot automation, their complexity, the need for understanding the robot movements logic, and these practical limitations are big challenges for many shops.

      The Beacon app streamlines cobot programming, allowing anyone with specific trade skills to learn and use it in minutes. It's a straightforward solution that significantly reduces downtime and keeps your shop running efficiently.

      How Beacon Has Changed Welding Robot Programming


      Beacon is changing the way we approach welding robot programming, making the process more intuitive, faster, and more efficient.

      Hands-on Programming

      In the traditional setup of robotic welding, the need to constantly alternate between the torch or tool and the teach pendant has been a significant time-waster. This juggling act not only slows down the workflow but also negatively impacts overall productivity.

      However, the introduction of cobots powered by Beacon simplifies the process by removing the teach pendant from the equation. This App allows welders to keep both hands on the torch or tool during the programming phase, streamlining the entire process.

      The direct benefit of this hands-on approach is a notable reduction in programming time, with Beacon trimming down about 2-5 seconds for each point that needs teaching. While this might seem modest at first glance, the cumulative effect over an entire project can lead to substantial cost savings. After all, time is money.

      Streamlined Pre-Programs

      Consider the traditional method of programming a linear weld, which requires four points:

      • Approach
      • Start weld
      • End weld
      • And depart

      Beacon simplifies this to just two points (start and end weld), incorporating the approach and departure movements automatically. This not only saves a significant amount of programming time but also reduces the complete linear weld time to about 8-10 seconds.

      Preconfigured TCP Settings

      One of the most time-consuming aspects of traditional robotic programming is configuring the TCP (Tool Center Point).

      This crucial step ensures accurate positioning and orientation of the torch, affecting the precision and quality of the weld.

      Beacon offers preconfigured TCP settings for the torch, eliminating up to an hour of setup time and ensuring consistency across all your welding tasks.

      In-App Support: Immediate Solutions

      Cobot tech support can vary widely depending on the supplier. Traditional support methods often involve long waits for email or phone responses, with resolutions taking anywhere from hours to days.

      Beacon has in-app support that combines AI and human interaction for immediate assistance. With a response time of just 2-3 minutes, Beacon ensures that your production keeps rolling with minimal disruption.

      Easy Program Sharing with Beacon

      Beacon boosts programming flexibility and sharing with its easy-to-use app, enabling:

      • Wireless tablet control: Use your tablet to program cobots from anywhere in the workshop.

      • Effortless sharing: Easily copy and share welding programs across different systems and locations.

      • Controlled access: Manage who can access and share programs, ensuring consistent welding quality across all your sites.

      Beacon not only makes programming easier but also enhances security and convenience for shop owners aiming to refine their welding operations.

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      Find Out How Beacon Can Improve Your Processes Today

      Traditional cobot programming can be a bottleneck, consuming hours and demanding constant attention from your team, which could be better spent elsewhere. This not only slows down production but also introduces room for errors.

      With Beacon’s innovative approach, programming times are slashed from hours to minutes and your team can work more intuitively and efficiently. And by reducing programming time, minimizing errors, and ensuring your operations keep moving smoothly, Beacon enhances throughput and efficiency.

      Don't let the complexities of traditional cobot programming hold you back. Contact us today and discover how Beacon can transform your welding process.


      How do I start programming a welding robot?The first step is to choose software that matches your robotic system and welding requirements. Training or consulting the software’s documentation and tutorials can help you understand the basics. For specific platforms, like Beacon, the focus is on user-friendly interfaces that simplify programming to a series of intuitive steps without the need for in-depth programming knowledge.

      Can welding robots be programmed without prior programming experience?
      Yes, many modern welding robots are designed for ease of use, aiming to lower the barrier for entry. Systems like Beacon include intuitive programming methods, such as graphical interfaces using only the trade jargon or teach-by-demonstration features, that do not require prior programming experience.

      What are the challenges of robotic welding programming?
      Challenges include the complexity of programming tasks, the need for precise control over the welding process, and ensuring the robot can adapt to different welding tasks and part variations. Additionally, integrating the welding robot into existing production lines and ensuring safety and efficiency can also be challenging.

      Can robotic welding programming be customized for specific projects?
      Absolutely. Most robotic welding software allows for customization to meet specific welding requirements and project needs. This can range from adjusting welding parameters to customizing the robot's path and behavior for unique or complex welding tasks.

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      Rob Goldiez
      Post by Rob Goldiez
      March 28, 2024
      Rob is co-founder and CEO of Hirebotics. Hirebotics is an automation machinery manufacturer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to enable ALL of your welders to take advantage of automation with our Cobot Welder, powered by Beacon.
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