WeldCloud™ online data management platform provides functionality to facilitate continuous improvement

May 24, 2016

Secure, robust, flexible, scalable and future-proof, the new ESAB WeldCloud online data management platform works with ESAB's Aristo® Mig semi-automatic, Aristo Mig 5000iR robotic and LAF/TAF sub arc welding systems. Users can purchase these systems WeldCloud-ready, and ESAB can retrofit most existing systems with a communication module. Much more than data recording systems, Weld Cloud integrates with other customer systems (ERP, MDM, MRP, QA, etc.) and enables a wealth of analytics.

Using any device with a web browser, users access applications and dashboards with functionality tailored for the job needs of different personnel: operations managers, quality managers, engineers, welders, maintenance staff, training supervisors and others. WeldCloud enables data-driven decision making so that fabricators and manufacturers can move the true levers of productivity and quality, as well as make better use of working capital. With WeldCloud, customers can:

  • Facilitate traceability from single welds to the complete product utilizing a comprehensive database at the core of the system that contains key information of every weld seam.
  • Develop weld schedules on a single machine, move them into the cloud and then push them out to other welding systems.
  • Remotely manage welding parameters, set limits and set alarms for deviations.
  • Ensure complete documentation of filler metals, consumables, operator qualifications and parameters (essential for structural steel construction, ship, offshore, pressure vessel, military, automotive, crane and other industries).
  • Monitor and act upon various productivity reports across operations in disparate locations.
  • Increase responsiveness of repair and maintenance operations by instantly receiving alerts from WeldCloud-enabled machines in your fleet.
  • Share and analyze data by teams across multiple data collection sites, using any computer, tablet or smart phone connected to the same internal network as the welding systems and database.
  • Work with ESAB to request custom applications, analytics and dashboards.
  • Request remote support from ESAB to analyze data as part of efforts to maximize productivity.

Automating Activities

"While faster welding speeds and increased deposition rates reduce cycle time, automating activities that surround the welding processes enables users make quantum leaps in productivity, quality and machine efficiency possible," says Roul Kierkels, Acting Product Manager DDA & WeldCloud.

Here are just a few of the functions WeldCloud can automate:

  • Communication to pull in/push out procedures and schedules, verify operator qualifications and confirm machine setup.
  • Job status and real-time response to production situations – such as alerts when a machine has an error, when consumable levels run low, for generating a predictive maintenance schedule or pushing out a re-stocking text to suppliers.
  • Remote connection to ESAB experts for process optimization, updates and troubleshooting.
  • Web-based reporting provides up-to-the-second status information, highlighting production and quality concerns to increase overall quality and production performance.
  • Integrate with ERP systems like Oracle®, SAP®, IBM and SharePoint, plus analytics and reporting tools such as ClickView, Qlik®, SAS® and Tableau®.

Future-Proof and Robust

WeldCloud installs within a few hours: users deploy the software package to a laptop or server, configure the network on the communications module and their welding systems will automatically link to the WeldCloud platform. Users can start with just a single system to familiarize themselves with WeldCloud and the power of its data. After confirming value, users can deploy WeldCloud enterprise-wide. Near-real-time data transfer occurs with wireless or wired transmission, capturing welding and system condition data concurrently from thousands of systems. Data is then stored securely in one comprehensive database, located within the user's firewalls. WeldCloud ensures optimal security from all angles: data storage, access, user control and remote diagnostics.

Unlike proprietary data management systems, WeldCloud uses open-source messaging, specifically the MQTT protocol developed by IBM and Eurotech in 1999 for sensor devices that monitor pipelines (interestingly, Facebook Messenger also uses aspects of MQTT). With a proven ability to run in an embedded environment, MQTT has become the preferred protocol to facilitate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). WeldCloud can be configured to connect with Data Leap and other customer systems, as well as integrate with IIoT platforms such as ThingWorx™.

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products is a recognized leader in the welding and cutting industry. From time-honored processes in welding and cutting to revolutionary technologies in mechanized cutting and automation, ESAB's filler metals, equipment, and accessories bring solutions to customers around the globe. For more information, visit southeasteurope.esab.com/southeasteurope/en/weldcloud/

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