Had-Fab Ltd., which employs 145 people and which is one of the largest suppliers in the south of Scotland, is using a Valk Welding welding robot for a large order for the renovation of the London Underground.

“We could not find enough people to weld 15,000 brackets. For such a quantity, it is much better to use a welding robot, anyway. Valk Welding’s robot system and offline programming, combined with the personal approach, offered us the best starting point. We are now going to increase the use of welding and cutting robots,” explained Managing Director Simon Harrison.


Had-Fab designs, manufactures and constructs steel and aluminium constructions, mainly work extensively in the Power transmission and distribution industry as well as the rail and telecom sector. The supplier constructs pylons, towers and bearing structures, as well as secondary steel constructions, such as stairways, ladders and bridges, for these sectors. Had-Fab recently acquired an order to weld 15,000 brackets for the renovation of the London Underground. “Nowadays, there is almost nobody who looks at such a quantity as a challenge. For that reason, we decided to invest in a welding robot. While looking at what the well-known robot integrators had to offer, we kept running into the same problem,” said Simon Harrison.

All-in-one system
Voortman’s UK dealer advised Simon Harrison to talk to Valk Welding. Simon Harrison said, “I went to see Valk Welding at the EuroBlech trade fair in Hannover and told them what I was looking for. Their approach and their all-in-one system immediately appealed to me. In particular their offline programming system, in which you can program the robot, engineer the welding fixtures and plan the production, ensures that you make optimal use of the welding robot. Since they had a welding robot on an H-frame construction in stock, we were able to get started reasonably quickly. When we collected the installation in Alblasserdam, we were also able to take a look behind the scenes at Valk Welding, and that reassured us that we had taken the right choice.

A challenge for young employees
Simon Harrison believes the technology and everything involved with the process of welding robotization are things that excite young employees. “They have experience using computers and see it as a challenge to program the welding robot, design the welding moulds and start and control the entire production process. That allows you to give young employees a chance to gain experience and knowledge of new technology,” explained Simon Harrison.

Personal approach
Harrison found Valk Welding’s personal approach friendly and honest. “It is a company that is a pleasure to do business with. The combination of a personal approach and the technology that the company has to offer makes Valk Welding a fabulous company,” said Simon Harrison.

The robot project is to be continued
The welding robot on an H-frame construction is currently only used for the welding order for the suspension brackets, but after that, it will be used for other products. “And that will not just be large series. We also want to start using welding and cutting robots for larger products. The initial discussions have already taken place with Valk Welding.” www.hadfab.co.uk


Artwork in Lelystad built by Had-Fab
Had-Fab also made the image 'Exposure' on the embankment in Lelystad (the Netherlands). ‘Exposure’, in the form of a crouching man, is a creation of the British artist Antony Gormley. The entire structure weights 60 tons and is entirely made at Had-Fab in Trenent (near Edinburgh) and shipped in parts to Lelystad and built up there in 2010. 

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