Without the welding robot, we could not have realized the production
Tacked workpieces, fix them on the workstation of the welding robot, load the programme and start welding. The daily welding production at the machine factory Clemens in the German Wittlich is that simple. Since the company has started using the welding robot system from Valk Welding, the majority of the products welded by the welding robot do not require e tracking of the welding seams. "With an accurate preparation, the tolerances are so small, the robot’s welding programs can be welded directly 1 to 1 by the robot, without corrections, explains Otmar Meiers, production manager of the welding department.
Clemens Technologies develops machines for grapeharvesting, like machines for tillage, storage, harvesting and the filling process. Until 2 years ago, all products were manually welded at Clemens. Due to the development of new products and active processing of the abroad market, the turnover increased from 10 million in 2009 to 23 million in the past year.
Switch-over to robotic welding
With the increase in welding, it was time to make the step to robotic welding. Production leader Rainer Nau: "We are always looking for new modern technologies, and we have wanted a welding robot for a long time already." A proposal from a German robot integrator did not fully meet our expectations. Someone advised us to contact Valk Welding. Their open attitude appealed to us a lot more. They came up with a compact and simple concept that suits us perfectly. Since January 2016 we are in possession of a welding robot system consisting of a Panasonic TM-1800 WGllI welding robot on an H-shaped frame with on both sides a 2.500 mm workstation with a PanaDice 500 positioner. The cell’s small footprint was an important advantage considering the limited space available in the factory. "
Another important requirement of Clemens was the fact that the robot had to be able to weld between openings with a small gap of 55 mm as well. Rainer Nau: "This is the case with most of our soil tillage machines. Valk Welding could guarantee this, and they proved this by fulfilling that.
Small, compact and simple
Otmar Meiers and Rainer Nau, who jointly completed the purchasing process, have opted for the Panasonic TM-type with internal cable package, in which all cables for power, torch cooling, compressed air, and the welding wire run through the cable package. As standard, all Panasonic welding robots are equipped with a robot torch with a pneumatic shock sensor, developed by Valk Welding itself. In case of collision, the robot immediately stops, after which the operator can restart the robot immediately, without the robot having to be re-calibrated. Otmar Meiers: "Initially, we thought working with the welding robot would be complicated, but that turned out not to be the case. The entire installation was easy to operate and therefore could be integrated in a short production time. Since two employees at Valk Welding in Alblasserdam have been trained, everything runs smoothly."
Clemens produces all standard components in stock, so they can be delivered directly to the assembly department per order. More than 85% of all welding work is done by the robot. The welding robot system is now fully occupied in a 2-work shift. This involves series of an average of 200 to 300 pieces, with outliers to 2,000 pieces. Only specialized work is still manually welded. Rainer Nau: "Compared to manual welding, we save 50% of the time by using the welding robot." Without the welding robot, we could not have carried out the production. "
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