At GMM the robots also welds studs

Flexible and fast, the latest welding cell, acquired at GMM, combines two robots, one of which is equipped with automatic changeover of a stud welding head or a welding torch.

Located between Chartres and Le Mans, GMM is a company specialized in mechanically welded assemblies. The company has been growing steadily for three decades, processing 10,000 tons of sheet metal per year and generating a turnover of over 28 million euros with 140 employees.


For greater flexibility, speed and therefore savings in welding, the company has commissioned a Valk Welding cell with two robots in 2019. The second performing traditional welding and stud welding.

GMM is an expert in sheet metal work for construction steels (from S235 to S700, Hardox, galvanized steels) in thicknesses from 1.5 mm to 25 mm, supplying components to a wide range of sectors. It supplies players in the construction and agricultural sectors such as John Deere, Claas, Manitou, Bobcat or Kuhn-Huard...

The company also present in the energy sector, creates components for transformers for railway engines and supplies Otis elevators, as well as certain equipment for automobile lines (Renault).

It also designs welded assemblies for the entertainment industry (Acoustics), as well as structures for truck-mounted refrigeration units (Carrier Transicold).

"What makes us strong and responsive is that we are at the heart of three complementary entities working together. JMC paint and assembly (43 employees) has 6,800m² of workshops including a shot-blasting cell and two automated paint lines, plus finishing/assembly. Another partner, MGM Transports, has 15 tractors, 25 semi-trailers and 14 drivers with a platform of 400 pallets. Thus, all the logistics between customers, suppliers and assembly plants is controlled. This strategy simplifies circuits and reduces lead times," explains Yves Marcel, the group's Industrial Director.

To execute the hundreds of references (beams, chassis, covers, casings, frames, arms, cradles, supports, ploughshares, etc.), the means are muscular.

An FMS line for storage and automated distribution of Stopa sheets, with a capacity of 740 tons, feeds four Trumpf laser cutting centres and a Trumpf T7000 laser punching machine.

For heavy thicknesses, GMM has a Ficep HD plasma cutting combination equipped with a punching machine combined with a milling, drilling and tapping capacity.

After cutting, five Trumpf and Jean Perrot robotic bending centres plus three Trumpf manual bending centres and a rolling machine shape the sheets.

In addition, six Spiertz stamping presses ranging from 40 to 400 tons with their own tooling and decoiling lines handle larger production runs. All tooling and machining fixtures are made in the machine shop, which is equipped with milling centres (Haas and Forest Liné), turning centres (Doosan dual-spindle centre with bar feeder), grinding machines and two Charmilles wire EDM units.

In addition to an intermediate storage warehouse for components before welding, the assembly combines two Aro manual spot welders, an Aro robotic spot welding cell, three Fanuc welding robots, seven Panasonic welding robots with positioners and 16 manual welding islands.

In 2007 Valk Welding delivered its first robotic welding system operating in pendulum mode with one operator. Continuing this partnership, the integration of the latest two-robot cell mounted on an E-frame has, as a special feature, a second robot equipped with an automatic changer capable of working alternatively in Mig/Mag or with a stud welding head fed by a vibrating bowl.

"Fast, reliable, flexible to use and economical, this principle allows us, for example, to adapt ventilation grids, which are then mounted on the engine hoods of machines, an aesthetic assembly that appeals to our customers," explains Yves Marcel.

Highly integrated in terms of IT, GMM has an ERP system, with real-time monitoring of each workstation, a general CAD system and several CAD/CAM software programs for specific trades.

All the equipment is PHL (offline programming) and has a fibre optic network and Wi-Fi. Naturally, welding programming is carried out offline with Panasonic's DTPS software, an approach that serves to visualize movements and positioning while avoiding any risk of collision. Finally, the management of customer orders is done in EDI language, which allows the integration of modifications in time.

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