QI Invests in Robotic Welding to Meet Growing Solar Equipment Demand (QI Feature in Welding Productivity)


According to GTM Research, the fourth quarter of 2015 had the largest number of solar installations in U.S. history. This nationwide increase in solar power use means a substantial need for more solar power equipment—a need that is reflected in an increase in orders for Quality Industries Inc. from one of its solar equipment customers for more solar panel brackets.

Quality Industries implemented a $12.5 million company-wide capital program in 2015 to invest in the latest manufacturing equipment and technology to better serve customers and improve overall quality and efficiency. Part of our investment included a new robotic welding cell to increase production rates.

The new cell, a MWA PerformArc 1100 HW dual-arm robotic welding cell, can handle high-volume runs (280,000 pieces per year) for a bracket that holds up solar panels in the field. The brackets, produced for a solar equipment manufacturer, have large weldments—about 34 in. of weld.

“Typically, with a robot, you see a three-to-one payback,” says David Schaefer, product specialist for Miller Welding Automation (MWA), which sold QI the robotic cell. “It’s an industry rule of thumb that one robot and one operator can do what three manual welders can do. So, higher capacity and faster production is the first benefit."

Read more about the benefits and capabilities that have resulted from QI’s investment