Weld controls are incorporated into many automated systems. The weld control is required to take signals from and communicate back to the main system in all of them. Communication in the numerical control environment is normal and a given for weld controls. The weld control runs the actual welding operation but the rest of the automated machine operations are controlled by the central machined communications center. This center may also be a storage center for the weld parameters that will be downloaded from the weld control for each weld. The ability to exchange data both directions is limited by imagination only.
Common networking/communication platforms are Ethernet, Profibus, DeviceNet, Interbus, Control Net and others.
In small simple systems a weld control might be able to handle simple NC operations itself and eliminate the need for a separate NC device for simple machine decision functions.
Reference: RWMA - Resistance Welding Manual 4th Edition