Status quo and development of automatic welding equipment in shipbuilding industry

The application of robot will bring revolutionary changes to ship building. With the rising labor costs, it is a general trend for shipbuilding enterprises to adopt automatic welding equipment. In the future, shipbuilding enterprises must win the market by improving shipbuilding efficiency, reducing labor costs, reducing management costs, and improving product quality.
While China's shipbuilding output has continuously won the first place in the world, people are embarrassed to find that the competitive advantage that domestic shipbuilding enterprises used to pride themselves on lower labor costs than advanced shipbuilding enterprises in Japan, South Korea and other countries is no longer there. In recent two years, the continuous "labor shortage" in China's southeast coastal areas has seriously spread to shipbuilding enterprises, and China's "demographic dividend" is gradually disappearing. The "labor shortage" of highly skilled talents in China's shipping enterprises is particularly prominent. The survey data shows that most of China's shipping enterprises have a large gap of highly skilled talents, especially among the labor workers of the main force of shipbuilding production, the proportion of senior workers is often less than 10%, and many enterprises even less than 5%. In the new situation, ship enterprises should solidify the advanced process of ship building through advanced process equipment to reduce adverse effects caused by human factors, improve quality, grasp progress, stabilize safety and win benefits.
It is understood that all developed countries have put robot technology at the top of their science and technology development strategies. In particular, some advanced shipbuilding enterprises in Japan, South Korea and other countries have made remarkable achievements in the development, development and application of welding robots in shipbuilding. From the first robot developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industry in 1970 to the late 1990s, several large Japanese shipping enterprises have applied welding robots in batches, such as various portable automatic horizontal angle welding machines and portal multi joint robots used in small closure manufacturing of platforms; Horizontal automatic gas electric welding, FAB single side submerged arc automatic welding, etc. are used in large closure manufacturing. During this period, the robotic rate of shipbuilding and welding of Japanese shipbuilding enterprises has reached 16%, including 24.6% for small closure and 14.5% for parallel midship closure.
With the rapid development of computer technology, microelectronics technology and network technology, the manufacturing cost and price of robotics have been declining continuously in the 1990s, while the robot technology has been developing rapidly. According to the statistics of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the price of robots dropped by about 80% from 1990 to 2000, while the labor cost increased by about 40%.
Since 2001, especially during the peak period of global shipbuilding in the previous few years, the labor cost of China's shipbuilding industry has been rising day by day, but it is difficult to reduce it in the low ebb of the shipbuilding market today. The high labor cost has become one of the important factors restricting China's shipbuilding enterprises to further grow bigger and stronger. Under this situation, accelerating the promotion and application of the numerical control cutting and blanking of hull parts, component robot welding, automatic welding and splicing, numerical control frame cold bending machine, component robot welding, and segmented robot welding to realize the automation of hull segmented manufacturing is one of the key factors to further improve the shipbuilding output and quality, reduce costs, and shorten the shipbuilding cycle.
With the determination of the direction of green environmental protection, energy conservation and emission reduction and sustainable development in the international shipping industry, the development mode of shipbuilding enterprises relying on the advantage of labor intensive cost has been difficult to sustain. In order to win the market, it is necessary to accelerate and widely apply automatic welding equipment, improve shipbuilding efficiency, reduce labor costs, reduce management costs, and improve product quality. Only in this way can we have a place in the highly competitive shipbuilding market and achieve development.