Our welding robot, Bender, has been busy fabricating bogies for the new 11-tonne cane bins being manufactured for the Herbert region.
Affectionately named after the robot character in the popular animated sitcom Futurama, our Bender also bends in different ways and, like his namesake, occasionally needs to be pulled back into line by the humans around him.
Bender has already welded 600 cane bin bogies this year, with another 300 to go.
Boilermaker Carlo Tomarchio programmed 387 lines of data to ensure Bender has all the information he needs for the welding job. That includes, where to start, where to stop, what angle to hold the welding torch at, and how fast to travel.
Carlo and fellow Pioneer Mill boilermaker Dan McConnachie (pictured) designed a way to load the bogies into Bender’s rotator for welding without restricting the robot’s 360 degrees access to every welding point.
Although Bender is only as smart as the program that humans create for him, he is an efficient worker and ideal for repetitive tasks.
Carlo said that freed up boilermakers to do more challenging work, while the robot took care of monotonous and repetitive jobs without complaint.
“Originally, we bought Bender to do up scraper plates for the milling train, which normally would take a person four days to finish one,” he said.
“The robot can do a whole scraper plate in a single day. We’ve done 60 using him this year and have 40 to go by December.”