Innovation driven - just like Vlassenroot

KSK in Schwerte, Germany, is part of the Vlassenroot Group and manufactures, among other things, telescopic booms for the crane industry. The bended half-shells are joined both in the transverse seam and with various locking plates(strike plates) to form long, solid, U-shaped beams.

Vlassenroot Group

The welding of the crane booms is done in 2 stations. A suspended robot travels in the XYZ direction and can operate both stations. The total length of the track is 45 m. Robotics is supported by a Panasonic TM-1800 with Arc-Eye camera system. The product weights can be up to 10 t and the length up to 20 m. The special feature of the two workstations is the central, very flexible displacement of the heavy-load positioners. The 10 t manipulators are sliding on a rail system and might be moved to a specific position depending on requirements. Various tests with software waveforms and settings were carried out in advance for the welding quality requirements. KSK received welding software adapted to their needs. This is only possible because, in addition to the Panasonic robot, we also use the power source as an integral part of the system. "I can do the off-line programming and creation of new programs very easily in the office because of the DTPS off-line software. This feature makes my job much easier," says Filippo Di Lonardo. The DTPS software also comes from Panasonic and represents a fully comprehensive welding programming solution from a single source, without having to worry about interfaces or software coordination.


"Process-safe manufacturing is extremely important to us," states Jürgen Andree, engineering manager, who also oversees robot projects. "In addition to arc welding, a few years ago we invested in a laser hybrid system that can process products up to 19.5 m long and weighing up to 32 t. Here, the two half-shells (longitudinal seams) are welded, which are pre-welded by arc on the Valk robot. Since we are in the field of high-strength steels, the selection of the process is very important for us," Jürgen Andree continues. Two different welding wires in one component.

Two different welding wires in one component

In terms of steels, KSK processes grades ranging from S690 QL through S960 (QL) to Strenx 1300, Weldox or Hardox. The high-strength fine-grain material requires not only classic preheating and selection of the appropriate welding wires, but also attention to welding parameters and special welding programs. During the robot installation, attention was therefore paid to the processing of different welding wires and also the use of two different welding wires in one component. For example, two different welding wires are automatically fed to the robot torch via a Y-switch and the wire required in each case is fed into the welding torch by program call. Here, Valk Welding supplies everything from a single source - including the welding wire.


The Arc-Eye camera is used for seam tracking and monitoring during welding. "Thanks to the optical seam tracking via laser camera system and the corresponding adjustment in real time, we can guarantee a reliable weld seam, even if the component changes position during welding," assesses Filippo Di Lonardo, robot programmer and welder. "In multi-layer welding of fine-grain structural steels, repeatability and secure joints are an absolute must."

The strong connection

“The versatile possibilities offered by the hard and software made us decide to buy”. Valk Welding was one of the few suppliers who listened to us and built a robot system tailored to our needs," declares Jean-Pierre Pohlen, Country Manager Poland & Germany. "Valk Welding's good reputation and reference visits convinced us. It's often just the little things, but the many years of welding experience at Valk Welding and that everyone on the project team was looking for goal-oriented solutions really appealed to us."

Valk Welding is a trusted partner for us," says Jean-Pierre Pohlen. "Innovation driven - just like Vlassenroot. Especially with such large special installations, good project support is important and that was the case with Steffen Schindler. He took care of our questions and the implementation of the tasks. He made our problems his and we appreciate that.

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