Second system in production 30 min after commissioning

Northern Ireland-based machinery manufacturer NC-Engineering started robotic welding in 2018. Since then, the company has welded over 7,000 assemblies on their Valk Welding robot system. To further expand capacity, NC-Engineering invested in a second system this year for smaller repetitive jobs. "We were able to use the second welding robot system within 30 minutes after commissioning, thanks to good preparation in DTPS and quality fabrication of the welding jig," says process engineer John Johnston.

NC Engineering

High mix – low volume

To produce machines for the agricultural and construction sectors, the company has programmed 77 different assemblies on its first TRACK-FRAME-E welding robot system. This system has two side-by-side workstations with a clamping length of 3.5 meters each, and a Panasonic TM2000WG3 welding robot mounted on a track. "Where one product is welded in 1 minute, another requires 150 minutes of welding time. Our programmer David has programs sent to both stations and the loading operator can choose which station to place the fabrication on. That way we can distribute the workload equally."

It starts in DTPS

The second welding robot is a FRAME-H system and has a simpler layout for welding smaller repetitive workpieces, ensuring that they are welded optimally. "We received the layout in for the second installation in advance so we could prepare new jigs and programs in DTPS ready for the arrival of the robot. Some jobs that we had welded on the first installed welding robot we might transfer to the second one. By now we have enough experience to see what fits and what doesn't. For this smaller robot, we are still expanding the job capacity, with 8 jobs already prepared and another 14 currently being planned and designed," says John Johnston.

Further automation?

"As the number of welders entering the trade seems to be decreasing in recent years, the movement toward automation will continue across the industry and not only in our company. For welding automation, Valk Welding is our partner. In my opinion, they are the experts in this field, which is reflected in a high up-time. And whenever I have had problems or needed spare parts, I was helped immediately. - John Johnston

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