HISTORY OF KOBELCO
WELDING BUSINESS

In the meantime, the impetus for improving welding efficiency emerged from within the shipbuilding industries. To meet such requirements, Kobe Steel developed the one-sided submerged arc welding processes in 1964, which were given the names FCB and RF. With these epoch-making processes, granular backing flux is applied by pressure on the backside of the groove of a steel joint, and groove welding is carried out only from the face side of the groove to form a single melt-through weld with a good root surface. Almost all Japanese shipbuilders, who were then in their prime, employed the FCB and RF processes. Nowadays these processes are given an active role in Korean and Chinese shipbuilders, too.

Kobe Steel has also been developing and supplying high efficiency welding equipment. In 1979, it manufactured the 1st oil-pressure-driven arc welding robot, "ARCMAN." The year 1980 has been called "the first year of the robot," because robotization started with a variety of robots in Japan. Later on, Kobe Steel started to develop electric-motor-driven arc welding robots and, in 1982, successfully supplied the "ARCMAN-S" series, which offered highly improved workability for medium/thick steel plates.


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