Thermal joining techniques

ABB offers robotic solutions for the following thermal joining techniques



Spot Welding

Resistance Spot welding is a process in which contacting metal surfaces are joined by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current.

Work-pieces are held together under force exerted by electrodes. Typically the sheets are of the order the 0.3 to 6 mm thickness range. The process uses two shaped copper alloy electrodes to concentrate welding current into a small "spot" and to simultaneously clamp the sheets together. Forcing a large current through the spot will melt the metal and form the weld.



  • Low cost and most suitable for carbon steels
  • Very suitable for high volume & automated production
Spot Welding continues to be the main choice of joining processes in body shop (close to 40% of all joining processes). From our IRB6700 robot family to IRC5 spot welding cabinet and Dresspacks, ABB provides ready-to-use and comprehensive solutions to achieve high performance spot welding.


Laser Welding

Laser welding is a welding technique used to join multiple pieces of metal through the use of a laser.

The beam provides a concentrated heat source, allowing for narrow, deep welds and high welding rates.
  • High quality weld, precision welding, and high speeds (high throughput).
  • Access is not required on both sides of the parts to be joined.
  • Flangeless welding reduces car body weight; can be combined with laser cutting to further reduce car body weight.


Laser Brazing

Laser Brazing or Laser Soldering is a metal-joining process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Laser brazing is increasingly employed for visible joints in areas such as tailgates, roof joints, and C columns. ABB’s strong experience in laser brazing solutions ensures that you get best-in-class facility that meet all your requirements. 

  • Brazing’s main advantages compared to welding are the smooth surfaces that are produced and the ability to avoid melting the zinc coating, which avoids corrosion or further treatment that would be necessary otherwise.
  • Ability to join the same or different metals.
  • Brazing usually does produce less thermal distortion than welding due to the uniform heating of a brazed piece


Arc Welding

Arc welding uses a welding power supply to create and maintain an electric arc between an electrode and the base material to melt metals at the welding point. Aluminum parts have been largely been joined by means of MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding In lightweight car manufacturing. This technique is principally used to make joints between castings and extruded sections, as well as sheet-metal parts.


  • The process of arc welding is widely used because of its low capital and running costs
  • Speed, versatility, very well suited for robotic automation
  • Arc Welding produce high-strength joints

Remote Laser Welding

Remote laser welding or, “welding on the fly”, combines a robot with either a fixed (shown) or scanning optic welding head to position the focused laser beam on the workpiece.

It takes only a few seconds to join components, such as car doors, with high integrity laser welds.

“Remote Laser Welding” is growing every year in the automotive manufacturing industry and ABB (with our vast experience and install base) has become a leading system supplier globally in producing various products, such as, closures (class B components) and interior components (instrument panels and seating assemblies) with “Remote Laser Welding” processes.

  • ABB’s superior motion planning (TrueMove/QuickMove) Provides best-in-class speed and path accuracy. This enables ABB Robots to achieve faster cycle times as a higher quality than the competition.
  • Increased productivity: A “Remote Laser Welding” station has the ability to replace up to 5 conventional spot welding stations due to its speed of welding and re-positioning between spot welds.
  • Increased efficiency: Processing time (weld time) is much shorter
  • Reduced number of clamping fixtures and low operational costs.
  • Lower heat input: part deformation is virtually eliminated due to low heat input as well as ZERO pressure applied on the weld zone.


Stud Welding

Stud welding is a technique similar to flash welding where a fastener or specially formed nut is welded onto another metal part, typically a base metal or substrate.

Stud welding, also known as "drawn arc stud welding", joins a stud and another piece of metal together by heating both parts with an arc. The stud is usually joined to a flat plate by using the stud as one of the electrodes.

Typically nuts & bolts are used to join with the part that has been stud welded.

  • Stud welding produces strong and pressure tight joints.
  • Besides flat position, stud welding can be carried out in vertical and overhead positions as well.
  • Mix of materials can be joined (stud & bolt) if one of them is a metal
ABB has extensive experience in Stud Welding which is commonly used in the automotive industry.


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