Apprentice - A Portable Welding Robot for the Shipbuilding Industry
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER CARDEROCK DIV BETHESDA MD
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Introduction To start with, the title of this paper is not correct The Apprentice is not a robot. The Apprentice is a programmable welding manipulator, that the operator places where welding has to be done, programs the machine to do the job, and oversees the operation. The operator is in control of the operation, the Apprentice is merely a tool which increases the mans productivity. An industrial robot like the Unimate replaces the man and a Unimate is justified economically by the reduction of wages. The economical justification of the Apprentice is more difficult to specify. Since one man can oversee more than one Apprentice, his productivity is increased and less man hours are required for a given job. The Apprentice should then be justified by the more efficient use of man power, but also other considerations enter the picture. The Apprentice does an excellent job in out of position welding, something I personally cannot do, but I can program an Apprentice to do it - hence, the Apprentice unskills the job of the operator.
- Marine Engineering
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems