pic: one side of the scale at the Traverse City District in Michigan

This is what happens when robots move the scale instead of the power cubes.

This photo makes me nervous for the FIRST fields this year. Although robots should not be pulling on the scale/switches, these welds are also not properly done to hold up under load. The picture above clearly shows that the weld is all surface weld. The person that welded that got no true penetration at the joint, which means that there is not much holding the pieces together besides filler metal.

I wonder if this happens to be done on one field or if all of the FIRST fields have been welded incorrectly.

The 2007 spider rack scoffs at such weakness.

Not in a district myself but I think they build there own fields? So my just be a Michigan district problem if that’s the case.

I was at the Ontario Georgian event this weekend and many people I was with made comments on the poor quality welds found on the field ellements. I find it unsettling knowing these field ellements are so poorly assembled…

Districts have their own field borders, but FIRST HQ provides the game-specific elements and the FMS/scoring electronics.

We broke the scale at Southfield too. There’s a video of it floating around somewhere. The big issue here is that the weld is only done on 3 faces of the tube and not on the top face which should take all the load. The welds also look pretty bad. The onsite machine shop rewelded all the scales at Southfield Friday night to fix this issue.

We broke scale (at least cracked it) in PNW Mount Vernon this weekend.
Luckily we were at a facility that had welding and our machine shop volunteers rewelded all of the baskets for us by the end of the competition.

Yes, FIRST sends these out… they are not made by the Districts.
One of the issues was also NO weld along the top seam at all (see in the picture)

With quick thinking, the FTA’s and Field Director switched the scale basket that was showing signs of issues with one of the switch baskets…(they are all the same) The switch baskets don’t have the same kind of contact from robots so this worked stop gap until we the repairs were made. We had to do this twice.

I think everyone is going to have the same problem.

What part of the scale is this exactly?

This is the basket into which the cubes are scored.
Six on the field 4 on the switches 2 on the scale.

There were several welds at the PNW CAIS district that were of poor quality. They were a very different problem though. I looked like significant oxidation and over penetration.

None of them failed though.

I helped assemble the practice field (which was made from official field parts) at Traverse City, and I had to use a rat-tail file from our pit to remove excess weld from the interior circumference of three tubes so that pieces could fit together.

It seems that weld quality control might be a bit lacking in at least some of this year’s pieces.

Had cracking joints at Utah as well. Fortunately, before anything happened, the FTAs noticed & swapped for platforms from the Practice Field (which we had REAL FIELD ELEMENTS ON?! YES! WONDERFUL change!) and then repaired the cracking ones before putting them on the practice field.

Apparently the field elements are welded by the lowest bidder. One side of the scale was definitely giving out faster than the other and had to be replaced between matches near the end of Quals day 1. I never got to see the cracked joints myself so I can’t confirm whether it was another no-penetration failure similar to OP’s photo.

Due to the moment load from robots hitting this, it is probably the highest-load joint in the design, so I’m not super worried about the rest of the field being heavily impacted to the point of failures. Maybe the climbing bar welds, but those should be full circumference and can be inspected for penetration by looking down the open end of the tube?

I do think this quality failure on this joint creates a safety issue, I’d like to see a blog from Frank by the end of the week summarizing the measures being taken at Week 2 (key inspection points, tracking which fields are re-welded?) to protect our volunteers and students.

I hope this better shows the failure mode of the scale.

That is the platform where the cubes sit. So where that part of the scale is attached to the beam down the middle of the scale.

Covered in Team Update 16 - additional bracing to be installed as soon as parts are available.

CD thread for that update: