Cobots for Automated Welding Virtual Conference 2021

December 9th

Virtual Conference

OTC Daihen Inc.Abicor Binzel
Vectis AutomationWire Wizard

Bohler WeldingLincoln Electric
HyperthermMatheson The Gas Professionals
IPG Photonics LightWeldYaskawa



AWS Contact
Sarai Claveria


An introduction of automation and the world of Cobots into our industry, this conference will give a brief history and justification for integrating “Cobots” in everyday tasks, creating a safe environment for the worker while increasing productivity, reliability, and quality, at an overall lower cost. By the end of the conference, attendees will better understand what is required to justify a fully automated station for their particular job requirement. They can also walk away with the basic knowledge required to discuss their needs with an industry expert to reach the next level in automated productivity for their company.


meet the speakers

Jeff Noruk
Jeff Noruk, BSWE, PE, IWE, CWI


Servo-Robot Corp.

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BIO: Career began as welding engineer for P&H (Komatsu) and since has worked for 43 years in all facets of welding automation. Presently President of Servo Robot Corp., a leading supplier of laser vision camera systems for robot guidance and weld inspection. Welding engineer from THE Ohio State University and active with AWS D16 and D8 (Automotive committees) plus is a CWI and PE.

OVERVIEW: Automate Your Visual Weld Inspection with COBOT 3D Laser Scanning
Automated welding is becoming more common every year in industries ranging from automotive to oil & gas to aerospace. This increased use has resulted in increased productivity and quality. However, one area of the welding operation that is being done in almost the same way as it was done 75 years ago is visual weld inspection. Almost all of this inspection is being done manually with “eyes and gauges”. While a Certified Welding Inspector can do a good job with a lot of time and effort, not all companies employ this level of skill and even if they do, most of this inspection is just Go/No-Go and offers little data which is what is required if one wants to make improvements employing IoT and Industry 4.0.

While one can put in a dedicated traditional robot cell for inspecting welds to achieve huge gains in reliability and productivity, another approach that utilizes a COBOT working alongside an operator provides a more flexible approach for many companies. The COBOT can be programmed to inspect all the required welds while the operator can work collaboratively with the robot by doing the loading and unloading as well as repairing any discrepant welds. This COBOT inspection cell can also be made portable so one can move it around a plant to provide the ability to audit any part if needed or to provide temporary 100% inspection if a quality issue occurs.

Josh Pawley
Josh Pawley

VP of Business Development | Founding Partner

Vectis Automation

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BIO: Josh Pawley is a founding partner of Vectis Automation and leads Vectis’ business development and application engineering teams. Josh has over a decade of experience in under-the-hood robotic welding and applications experience, which has given him both the passion and the know-how to help manufacturers identify how to improve weld processes with automation.

OVERVIEW: The Keys to Successful Implementation of Cobot Welding
Learn the keys to cobot welding success from the Vectis team that has over 130 years of combined experience in welding automation. We’ll cover what makes an application fit-for-automation, how to get started, and how to pick your Cobot Champion.


Connie Reichert
Connie Reichert LaMorte

Principal Engineer Design, Controls, and Automation


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BIO: Connie LaMorte, Principal Engineer, is an expert in the areas of laser-based vision, in-process monitoring, and adaptive welding. She has been with EWI since 1996, previously serving in all engineering roles from Researcher to Principal, as well as Team Leader for the Design, Controls, and Automation team. Connie initiates, leads, and oversees contract R&D projects for EWI members. She has developed inspection and control solutions in a range of industries with an emphasis on weld-related defect detection. She is currently leading EWI’s innovations in tele-manufacturing technologies. She has published papers on corrosion detection, weld inspection, and adaptive welding.

OVERVIEW: Tele-Manufacturing: Developing New Tools to Control Manufacturing Processes from Remote Locations
Tele-manufacturing is the ability to accurately transfer manual skillsets from local personnel to remote equipment. EWI has been working within tele-manufacturing over the past 2 years by developing a tele-present welding system. Tele-welding allows a worker to operate the welding process from a remote location, while still in control of welding process variables and torch movements. The over-arching intent of developing tele-welding is to allow all who desire to do the work – older, younger, disabled – access to technology and equipment that allows them to remain or become fully productive in manufacturing.

Tools allowing a welder to perform welds from a distance can solve many worker and workplace challenges. Experienced welders can stay in the workforce far longer than today; disabled workers can re-enter the workforce sooner because certain disabilities will not impair ability to tele-weld. Young workers would also embrace tele-weld opportunities, presenting a high tech, clean environment. Specialized skills can be matched to tasks across different physical locations, enabling more efficient use of the available workforce.

The benefits of this approach include the removal of personnel from the direct zone of welding arc and fumes, reduction of physical ailments or fatigue resulting from constrained and uncomfortable welding positions and empowering the entire spectrum of personnel who want to work but have physical limitations that otherwise prevent them from being fully functional partners in production.

Led by EWI, Inc., the tele-welding team includes Huntington-Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Robotic Technologies of Tennessee, and Visible Welding, Inc. The team has completed the development of a mechanized system for welding that is completely controlled by a worker who is remote from the operation. The worker receives feedback from the welding operation and the surrounding environment via welding sensors, arc view cameras, and real-time livestreaming of the entire process. A haptic stylus device provides control of the mechanized equipment.

The first phase of this project centered on researching and developing technologies that, when combined, allow a worker to make a weld remote from the operation, but in 100% control of the welding operation. The second phase of this project centered on integrating selected technologies onto both a mobile platform and a portable cobot arm, demonstrating tele-welding by different operators from over 500 miles away. Advances made in tele-presence operation of machinery during this project are being adapted to tele-inspection and can be adapted to many other processes in addition to welding.

Anthony San Andres
Anthony San Andres

Subject Matter Expert

Xiris Automation Inc.

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BIO: Anthony San Andres is the subject matter expert at Xiris Automation. He specializes in the XVC line of welding cameras. From technical specifications to field setups Anthony has seen and done it all. When it comes to welding cameras, he is a great resource to customers and internally at Xiris. His education is in computer/electronics/electrical engineering. He also has a passion for cameras and video production which has been an asset since joining Xiris.

OVERVIEW: Xiris cameras and their application to robots. How they can aid in processes for quality assurance monitoring, training and safety.
Anthony will present the most relevant weld cameras and Xiris products for education. He will talk in depth about each product addressing several ways instructors use those cameras for education and technique demonstration. Anthony will show some setups from welding institutions and show videos he has captured at different schools from all around North America. He will be available to answer any questions that anyone may have after the webinar is presented.


Stuart Shepherd
Stuart Shepherd

Vertical Development Director, Americas

Universal Robots USA, Inc.

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BIO: Stuart (“Stu”) Shepherd is the Vertical Development Director for the Americas region of Universal Robots. Stu’s career spans more than 40 years in automation, including roles at General Motors, FANUC Robotics, Shepherd Solutions (a boutique automation business consulting firm), KUKA Robotics and Güdel AG. He joined Universal Robots in April 2018 and is currently responsible for growing UR’s metal fabrication and machine tending markets in the Americas, utilizing his deep experience ranging from large-scale automotive to small job shops to welding integrators. Stu is also a Past Chairperson and Board Member of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Past Chairperson of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), and long-time member of the American Welding Society.

OVERVIEW: Are Collaborative Robots the Solution to the Welder Shortage?
For years, traditional industrial welding automation helped companies address labor shortages, variable cost overruns and quality issues. But now, flexible, easy-to-program and quick-to-deploy collaborative robots are changing the landscape of welding automation and other processes for fabrication job shops – all for a fraction of the cost.

Got labor? We didn’t think so. AWS predicted a labor shortage of 400,000 welders by 2024, but that prediction was pre-pandemic. Hiring a cobot for welding & fabricating may be faster than hiring an employee!

Kimberley Hayes
Kimberley Hayes


Valkim Technologies, LLC

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BIO: Kimberley Hayes founded Valkim Technologies to support technology adoption in a safe, reliable manner with an emphasis on the inspection industry. During her more than 25 years in MT, PT, UT, ET and (RT), she was responsible for executing strategic and tactical initiatives to support oil and gas market research and new product development for Fortune 500 companies.

Kim has an MBA from Pepperdine University, BS-Jacksonville State University and Green Belt-California State. She recently completed a certificate from MIT in AI/ML Business Strategy and is obtaining a certificate from University of Texas-Austin in AI/ML for Business Applications. Her current activities in codes/standards include American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where she is Chairperson of Assisted Analysis, Voting member Surface, UAS, MUS, former Vice Chair-FMC/TFM; ECA in lieu of MT/PT. She is also supporting AI/ML effort in AMPP and ASTM. She is also heavily involved in SPRINT Robotics and shares the Vice Chair on ASNT NDE 4.0.

OVERVIEW: Covid 19: A Catalyst for Increased Adoption of Alternative Solutions for Remote Visual Inspection
In this presentation, we will present an overview of technological advancement in times of change. The applications include drones (Unmanned Arial Systems – UAS) and other remote visual inspection aids for welding inspection with computer vision. We will also present an overview of ASME Section V work to maintain continuity in alternate platforms of remote inspection.


Brennan Palmiter
Brennan Palmiter

District Account Manager

FANUC America Corporation

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BIO: Brennan Palmiter started welding in 2002 with just a MIG welder in a garage learning “how to build things”. From 2006 to 2009 he encouraged young people across the country to pursue careers in welding and manufacturing, as a public spokesperson for the youth, with the Fabricators and Manufactures Association. He has since become a certified welder, an outside salesperson for a welding supplies store, a robotic welding application engineer for a small integrator, and now district accounts manager with the Metal Joining team at Fanuc America Corporation.

Brennan’s experience on the shop floor as a welder has given him valuable insight into the needs of job shops, and the common barriers related to their entry into robotics. Since 2017, Brennan has helped job shops across the southeast with investigating robotics as a solution and developing robotic welding applications.

OVERVIEW: What is a Collaborative robot? Is it just easier to use than a traditional robot? Are Collaborative robots better than traditional robots? How are shops using then in the field?
First, let’s discuss what is a Cobot. What ratings and standards are required for the manufactures of robotic equipment? ISO and RIA, what does that mean? When and where are the safety curtains and light barriers required? What defines a collaborative application, and how are companies implementing cobots into their work environments? Are cobots easier to use than an industrial robot, i.e., programming vs. teach pendent.

organizing committee

John Stoll
John Stoll


Arc Specialties

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Mr. Stoll is currently with ARC Specialties of Houston as an outside sales application engineering representative. He has served as an application engineer, and strategic accounts manager, for 6 years with voestalpine Bohler Welding North America after retiring from Lincoln Electric-Metrode Products Ltd. with 27 years of service, the last 5 years as the North American Manager of Alloy Sales.

His experience also includes time spent with Cameron Iron Works, BOC Consumables, Big 3 Industries, and H.B. Zachry. His extensive experience in the petrochemical industry includes assisting many varied companies in the development and implementation of their welding procedures and practices.

He is a member of NACE, a life member of AWS with 40+ years of continuing service and a past AWS District 18 Director. He was elected and served on the Executive Committee of the AWS Board of Directors in 2016.

He is also a member of ASME, and serves on several API committees. He has served on the advisory boards for both San Jacinto College and Tulsa Welding School (Houston campus). He has been a judge for the Houston Livestock Show’s Ag-Mechanics contest for the past 20 years and continues to do so.

He has developed, produced, and conducted at least two Welding Symposiums per year, for the past 15 years, for the greater Gulf Coast area. In addition to the educational aspect, these conferences have allowed QA/QC management, Welding Engineers, and Sr. Welding personnel a chance to meet and discuss common industry challenges. These Symposiums have included some of our industry’s leading authorities sharing their experience and wisdom pertaining to the betterment of our welding industry. As a bonus, PDH credit hours have been awarded to the participants.

In addition, by request, Mr. Stoll has developed and presented specialized training seminars to a number of engineering companies and their staffs for Petro-Chemical Companies, Refineries, and Power Producers, as well as their fabricators. These presentations were tailored to the customer’s specific requirements, from basic stick electrode knowledge, to the effects of post weld heat treating of Chrome-Molly steels, to the use of drones in field inspection.

Scott Wikowski
Scott Witkowski


Republic Testing Laboratories, LLC

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Republic Testing Laboratories

Scott Witkowski is currently the Vice President of Republic Testing Laboratories. He has 30 years of experience in welding industry. He was the President & Founder of Maverick Testing Laboratories, the largest Independent Welder & Materials Testing Laboratory in the United States. Scott is a member of the following associations American Welding Society (AWS), ASME and API.




11:00am – 5:00pm EST Thursday Sessions

*Conference Schedule Subject to Change

registration & Pricing


Open: June 2021

Deadline: Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 9am EDT

Technical Program
6 PDHs Earned


All cancellations MUST BE IN WRITING. If you cancel 35 DAYS PRIOR to the school you will receive a refund of 50%. If you cancel from 34 DAYS to 3 DAYS PRIOR to the conference, you will receive a refund of 10%. NO REFUNDS will be given 3 DAYS or less prior to the conference.

Registrations are non-transferable.



*Sponsorships Subject to Change

Logo Sponsorship

Benefits Include:

  • Company logo and link to their website on conference landing page
  • Company logo placement during virtual event break
  • One Complimentary Registration

For More Info on Sponsorships
Sarai Claveria


American Welding Society Learning