Dutch family business embraces high-tech advances

In a distant past, Duijnisveld Kasconstructies, in cooperation with TNO and Valk Welding, conducted a feasibility study into the use of welding robots. What seemed like visions of the future at the time has become a reality 34 years later, with the fourth generation seeing robotic welding as a way to give the company a growth boost. “The investment is done quickly, but you have to get it up and running”, says Ferry Duijnisveld, who took over the family business with his brother a year ago.

Duijnisveld Kasconstructies

Duijnisveld Kasconstructies, located in Westland, has been developing and manufacturing steel greenhouse structures for the international greenhouse horticultural industry for over 100 years. It was one of the first companies to begin serial production of steel profiles for greenhouse construction. “We have always maintained that lead”, emphasises the young Duijnisveld. “By shifting the focus to more complex parts and because we make everything 100% in-house, we have managed to keep pace with the major changes that international greenhouse construction has undergone. 80% of our revenue is determined by exports.”

Learning programming and creating jigs

The company now utilises a small robot cell provided by Valk Welding in the form of a FRAME-IT concept. This robot operates two 1,500 mm workstations on a manually adjustable indexing table. However, transitioning to robotic welding also means employees need to learn programming and welding jigs need to be created. “We did not have people who could just add that to their tasks”, explains Ferry Duijnisveld, “That is why I, along with a young employee and a colleague from the preparation department, took an online and offline DTPS programming course at Valk Welding.” Duijnisveld had third parties engineer the first jigs: “It costs money, but it is perfect. And you have a 3D-file of the welding jig that you can use to simulate together with the product in DTPS.”

New possibilities

“During the DTPS training, we also learned tactile searching, a great way to integrate product detection into the programming”, Duijnisveld says, “We now use this technique for standard products that may or may not have a welding plate on it. With tactile searching, the robot torch checks whether that plate is present and then determines its position. The advantage is that you don’t have to create separate programs for that, saving a lot of time.”

Cost savings

Duijnisveld Kasconstructies employs the new welding robot for consoles and supports up to a maximum of 1,500 mm. So far, the company has limited itself to repetitive products to offset jig costs, but they have already managed to reduce production time for these products. “That is a good start. With this first cell, we want to master robotic welding as well as programming and jig making. I see this as a learning process and a steppingstone towards possible further scaling of robotic welding within our company”, concludes Ferry Duijnisveld.


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