ARC Specialties selects Universal Robots as ‘Golden Arm’ in New Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System Launching at OTC 2019

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    ARC Specialties has solved the challenge of creating repeatable full
    penetration pipe welds by combining AI, advanced sensors, and the UR5
    collaborative robot from Universal Robots. The unique Artificial
    Intelligence Pipe Welding System debuts at the Offshore Technology
    Conference in Houston, May 6-9.

    ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#ARCSpecialtieslt;/agt;–The toughest welds to make are full penetration, single sided, V butt,
    pipe welds. Historically, ARC
    , a Houston-based developer of welding solutions,
    declined these jobs because joint fit-up was never repeatable. “Only
    human welders with a ‘golden arm’ able to compensate for variation in
    root openings, weld center lines, and groove volumes could handle this
    challenge,” says Dan Allford, President of ARC Specialties. “With the
    industry facing labor shortages, we decided to develop an intelligent
    machine with complete knowledge of pipe welding, with full motion and
    welding control.”

    The Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System (AIPW) incorporates the
    6-axis UR5
    collaborative robot
    arm from Universal
    to carry out the challenging welds. “The UR5 now becomes our
    ‘golden arm’,” says Allford. “The UR5 is small enough to be portable yet
    still allows full freedom of motion for both the laser scanner and
    welding torch. Being collaborative the robot is able to safely work in
    close proximity to humans.” The AIPW officially launches at ARC
    Specialties’ booth
    at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, TX, May

    Stuart Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of Universal Robots’ Americas
    division, is delighted to see the UR5 power ARC’s AIPW system. “This
    implementation underscores our collaborative robots’ ability to handle
    heavy-duty processing tasks that demand both high precision and
    real-time adaptability,” he says. “We’re excited to share this solution
    with the oil and gas industry.”

    The AIPW pre-scans the root opening (gap) using a 2D laser, then uses
    the data to generate the robot path and welding parameters. Gap
    variations are compensated for with changes in oscillation, torch
    position, travel speed and welding conditions. The UR5 positions the
    torch over a tack weld to start the arc to insure 100% root weld
    acceptance. Fill and cap pass programs are optimized to fill the groove
    using user selectable weave or stringer bead welding techniques. The
    AIPW uses the Miller Auto Continuum welding power supply to weld the
    root with Regulated Metal Deposition (RMD), then switches to pulsed
    spray for the fill and cap passes. This combination of Gas Metal Arc
    Welding techniques maximizes welding productivity while producing X-Ray
    quality, full penetration pipe welds.

    The AIPW follows two other successful welding solutions featuring
    Universal Robots developed by ARC Specialties; the MIG welding SnapWeld
    and the plasma cutting SnapCut.
    SnapWeld just became the first product ever to win New Equipment
    Digest’s Innovation
    two years in a row.

    About Universal Robots
    Universal Robots was co-founded in
    2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard – the 2018 Engelberger Award
    Winner – who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by
    developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial
    robots that are safe to work with. Since the first collaborative robot
    (cobot) was launched in 2008, the company has experienced considerable
    growth with the user-friendly cobot now sold worldwide. The company,
    which is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark,
    and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the United States, Germany,
    France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Turkey, China, India, Singapore,
    Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Mexico. In 2017, Universal Robots had a
    revenue of USD 170 million. For more information, please visit
    or read our blog at

    About ARC Specialties
    ARC Specialties was founded in 1983 by
    Dan Allford to provide welding services and weld automation to industry.
    Since then, ARC Specialties has grown to a 60+ person company occupying
    a campus with over 75,000 sq ft. in Houston, TX. These buildings house
    all the components for a vertically integrated manufacturing solution
    provider: research, design, manufacturing, assembly and testing at a
    single location. ARC Specialties has built machines for companies in 21
    countries and a variety of industries. The staff includes project
    managers, mechanical and electrical designers as well as welders,
    electricians and assembly technicians.

    Images of AIPW available here:


    Company contact:
    Joe Campbell
    Senior Manager, Strategic
    & Applications Development
    [email protected]

    Media contact:
    Mette McCall
    McCall Media
    [email protected]
    +1 415-847-8649