MR4WELD Debuts: Mobile, Robotic Welding for Shipbuilding

June 28, 2023

Image courtesy Fincantieri
Image courtesy Fincantieri

Italian companies Comau and Fincantieri presented today  the first result of their joint collaboration with Automatica: MR4Weld (Mobile Robot for Weld), a mobile robot, an innovative outdoor automation solution, designed to improve the quality, performance and well-being of operators during labor-intensive welding activities.

The MR4Weld mobile robot is being tested and will be used in the Fincantieri shipyards to autonomously weld steel structures, with the possibility of increasing operations up to to 3 times compared to a manual process, the companies project.

The system features a high payload 6-axis articulated robot, equipped with a welding torch installed on a tracked undercarriage and with an integrated vision system to autonomously identify weld joints. It is designed to provide a better weld quality with improved ergonomics.

MR4Weld is designed to be managed by a single operator during transfer and welding activities. The system also uses digital tools to collect welding and manufacturing data, which can be used to track weld joints. It can be used without fences on each of the multiple floors of which a vessel is composed. Fincantieri and Comau have jointly filed a European patent application for some specific technical characteristics.

As part of this renewed collaboration, the companies will develop advanced and mobile robotics solutions to automate other repetitive tasks within shipbuilding processes, including those involving vertical and non-linear surfaces and unstructured environments, as well as testing of exoskeletons Comau to further improve ergonomic conditions and operator well-being. Fincantieri will also work with Comau to strengthen and improve the technical skills of its operators in terms of use and programming of mobile robotic systems, adapting dedicated advanced training programs already developed by Comau to operators in the shipbuilding sector.


Image courtesy Fincantieri

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