To reduce weight and improve overall performance of the industrial welding robot, light-weight design using the finite element method and structural topological optimization is presented in this paper. The work analyzed an upper arm of an industrial welding robot in the most unfavorable working condition, both under static and dynamic working situations, using ABAQUS and ADAMS software tools. Then the Tosca unit in ABAQUS was employed to accomplish the structural topological optimization, in order to reduce weight and improve the natural frequencies under the situation of low orders. The analyses results showed that the actual weight had been reduced to 17.9%, and the natural frequencies in low orders had increased. The maximum Mises stress, tensile stress, and elastic displacement of the gyration center had decreased. Lastly, an actual product was produced according to the model obtained from preceding analyses. The experiments of the repeatability tests showed that the overall performance of the optimized upper arm had been improved when compared to the original one. This research can present references and foundations for the kinetic analyses under the static and dynamic working conditions, and structural topological optimization designs for relative industrial welding robots.
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