Automatic Welding in Fixed Positions

Image showing automated fixed position weld head.

With recent technological developments, welding automation has become more common across industries. Before innovations in automatic welding, weld quality, as well as the entire manufactured component, were dependent solely on the welder’s skill. Nowadays, though, technicians can monitor and optimize the welds performed by automated machines and robots. 


Orbital welding is a common example of an automated welding system. However, it is only applicable when the weld needs to be performed on a stationary workpiece while the weld head rotates around it. Many industrial welding applications require in-place welding where the position of the weld head is fixed and the workpiece needs to be rotated. For such applications, automatic welding technology in fixed positions can provide the ideal solution.

Fixed Automatic Welding

Fixed automatic welding is implemented when the welding process is performed at the industrial shop rather than on the job site—such as when weld joints are created for smaller parts and sub-assemblies. In these cases, the welding system typically employs a fixed weld head to weld a rotating workpiece. Some application conditions where fixed automatic welding may be suitable include:

  • High-volume requirement of welded parts:
    Fixed automatic welding offers consistent and repeatable welds that enable a high volume of similar design components to be welded faster.
  • Weld efficiency requirement:
    Fixed automatic welding can maintain precision and efficiency when welding multiple similar weld structures that could become laborious and tedious for manual welders.  
  • Supporting equipment requirement:
    Some welding processes that require specialized setup and supporting equipment, such as submerged arc welding (SAW) and plasma transfer arc welding (PTAW), likewise require fixed automation welding. 
  • Size of the part.
    Due to the diameter or physical characteristics of the part, orbital welding is an impractical solution versus rotating the part or sub-assembly about a stationary weld head.

A consistent and repeatable automated process ensures higher productivity, quality, and cost-effectiveness in fixed position welding. 

Automated Technologies for Fixtured Welding

Advanced technologies have simplified the welding automation process for industries that incorporate light and heavy-duty fabrication, including aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear—all of which rely on automated welding for pipes, tubes, and vessels. Across these industries, welding automation is facilitated by supporting technologies such as fixed weld heads, positioners, and a computer-controlled power supply.

Like other weld heads, fixed weld heads are a crucial aspect of an automated welding system’s efficiency improvements. The weld head facilitates the electric arc formation and maintains the optimal temperature and voltage for seamless welding while the workpiece rotates around it. As the weld parameters and the workpiece rotation are both pre-optimized, the expected weld results can be anticipated. The fixed weld head allows:

  • Repeatable weld paths and consistent weld results
  • High-quality and precision welding
  • Remote monitoring of weld parameters 
  • Human error reductions

Custom Solutions for Automation in Fixed Position Welding

AMI’s highly configurable weld heads adapt to custom specifications and provide compatible solutions for fixed-position automatic welding. Additionally, for increased speed and efficiency, our machines offer multiple torch configurations. With AMI’s fixed position welding solutions, manufacturers can count on consistent and repeatable welds that will improve the quality and cost-efficiency of their process.

man holding welding tool and blue sparks


Arc Machines, Inc., a welding technology leader, brings decades of experience creating orbital as well as fixed position welding schedules for our clients. Solutions like AMI fixture weld heads are compatible with your stationary automated welding applications. Contact AMI to learn more about training, or contact to learn more about AMI orbital weld heads and power supplies.