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50 . Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

Daiwa Securities America Inc.

Page -24-

Investment in the more flexible robot seemed preferable. The robot also eliminates the need of the manual operator to follow the conveyor line with a heavy welding gun.

The automobile companies then introduced batteries of robot welders. In some assembly plants, a single operator for robots can handle a work load once shared by ten workers. To improve productivity by simultaneous multi-spot welding, efforts have been made to develop multi-arm welding robots and to apply a number of modular robots to welding. Robot intro- duction into the spot welding line has made possible the automation of multi- product mixed-flow-assembly line on which various model flow one after another.

Nissan has been the largest user of spot welders and by the end of

1980, it had about 300 spot welders. had 200 spot welding robots, but it Heavy Industries --220 by 3/81, 200

At the same time, Toyota reportedly ordered 720 robots from Kawasaki by 3/82, and 300 by 3/83. It has been

assumed that most of these would be used for spot welding. Kawasaki is reportedly delivering about 25 units monthly. Mitsubishi Motors has been receiving spot welding robots from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Toyo Kogyo and Honda have introduced welding robots.

Kawasaki H .1. is clearly the leader in production of robot spot welders.

By spring of 1981, it had delivered 1,500 Unimates primarily for s-pot welding, and its monthly production rate is 60. Mitsubishi H. 1. occupies second place, having delivered 250 robots by the spring of 1981 and with

a

monthly production rate production of a modular a monthly rate of 35-50.

is slightly over 10. Toshiba Seiki has begun spot welding high speed robot which can reach Toyoda Machine Works is also making an inex-

pensive

building

block

system

spot

welding

playback

robot,

but

they

will

not be offered for public sale until the fall of 1982. Toyoda expects to 1,000 units annually. We do not know how many of these have already been shipped to Toyota. By 1983, Toyoda Machine Works and Toshiba Seiki, if they should be successful in their modular and simpler spot welding robots, could accupy a significant market share.

sell

ARC WELDING

Arc welding operations are conducted in an extremely unfavorable environment where carbonic acid gas, fumes and heat are generated. As

a result, arc welders must wear masks

out

frequently.

Some

loss

of

operating

and consequently, must take time time is, therefore, inevitable.

In addition, the new generation tend to shun arc welding. As a susceptible to robotics.

of young workers, consequence, arc

being better educated, welding was particularly

However, the large-sized robot such as the Kawasaki Unimate, which could handle heavy loads could hardly be justified economically by an

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