Bottleneck in welding department solved

For Graedstrup Stal, a medium-sized manufacturer of steel structures for hall construction in Denmark, welding was the bottleneck in production. On the one hand, due to a shortage of manual welders, on the other because the programming of the existing welding robot could not handle the increasing demand for customer-specific dimensions fast enough. Graedstrup Stal therefore switched to Valk Welding welding robots with offline programming. "Besides the fact that this allowed us to increase our output, the welding robots also made the work for the welders less monotonous," says Production Manager Allan Kåstrup Kristensen.

Graedstrup Stal

Graedstrup Stal has focused entirely on engineering and manufacturing trusses and columns for the steel structures it supplies to Danish construction companies. "We only do the assembly on site, using our own trucks and cranes. We leave the finishing up to the contractor. With a powder coating installation in-house, we are unique, and we can keep an optimal grip on the high quality," explains Allan. Every year the company processes more than 5,000 tons of steel, good for 6 to 7 hall projects a week”.

The construction parts are prepared by the engineers in Tekla® CAD, after which the parts are produced with punching, drilling/sawing and plasma cutting machines. “Due to the large variety of dimensions, we mostly weld manually on 2 welding lines. However, the welding of end and support plates on the steel profiles is monotonous work for the welders, for which we deployed a welding robot some time ago. However, this was limited to serial production. Programming just a few pieces was too time-consuming. For us a reason to look for another system", explains the Production Manager.

Valk Welding delivered a total concept including DTPS offline programming software, in which the STEP files from the Tekla® CAD software are directly imported into DTPS. The software engineers of Valk Welding ensured that within DTPS the most common welding paths were recorded in macros. These macros were created in such a way that one only has to program the welds and search steps. "This results in an enormous time saving in the work preparation. With 15 to 20 minutes of programming, we can easily move one and sometimes two shifts forward. With this method of working, the workflow in the welding department now runs smoothly again. An additional advantage is that when a part is attached in the wrong position or even missing, the welding robot stops immediately because the path does not correspond to the welding program", explains Allan.

Because a visit to the headquarters of Valk Welding in Alblasserdam was not possible due to Corona, the cell was taken without an FAT. Allan Kristensen: "The contact with the Danish specialists from Valk Welding gave us a good feeling from the first meeting at the fair in Herning. They listened carefully to our wishes and tried to find the best solution, without selling us something we did not need. Therefore, we were able to make the purchase entirely on the basis of trust."


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