The welding robot helps to lay the basis for a good kitchen

The company RETIGO s.r.o from Rožnov pod Radhoštěm in CZ is well known in the culinary segment as a manufacturer of top equipment for professional kitchens.


In 1993 the company manufactured its first combi oven in the garage of one of the five founders of the company and since then it has established itself as a manufacturer of culinary equipment. Today, RETIGO s.r.o. is a modern and innovative production company with around 210 employees and is one of the top manufacturers of combi-steam ovens in Europe. It is also one of the last independent specialists in this field in the world.

The most important product of the company are the combi-steam ovens, which are developed and produced directly in the factory in Wallachia, Czech Republic. These machines are mainly designed for professional kitchens and work according to the principle of steam and hot air. The ovens are used in restaurants, hotels and canteens all over the world (up to 80% of the production is exported worldwide, mainly to Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, Singapore and Japan).

Retigo is gaining ground in demanding international markets thanks to a combination of top quality combined with favorable prices. The uniqueness of the RETIGO products lies mainly in the all-stainless steel construction of the combi ovens and more clever elements that guarantee safety and perfect cooking results. Thanks to the existence of its own development center, the manufacturer from Rožnov ensures various improvements. Think of the innovations and gadgets such as the use of waste heat, a form of door glass and touch screen. These innovations are incorporated in the new generations and models of the combi ovens, which allows Retigo to take its production to an ever higher level.

Welding is made by a robot

The basic material raw material for the production of the combi-oven is stainless steel. After initial processing by means of cutting and bending, the individual parts of the combi-oven are welded out of the prepared stainless steel semi-finished products. RETIGO currently has two welding robot systems with TIG welding technology for this purpose. While the first welding robot has been in use for more than 15 years, the second has been added relatively recently - in 2018.
Rumen Rusev (Head of Development at RETIGO) says: "The older robot is welding the inside chamber of the combi steamer, but the rapidly growing demand for the company's products from 2016 to 2018 (at that time the company always recorded a year-on-year growth rate of more than 10 percent) made us invest in a second welding robot that welds other parts of combi ovens. The decision was clear, we had to increase production capacity, but at the same time, we knew we wouldn't easily find new skilled people. The only chance was to automate the process. The large capacity of the new welding robot therefore allows us to increase production capacity while eliminating a bottleneck in the production of combi furnaces. ”

Technical parameters and good references decide

"In the design and selection of the second welding robot, they of course also approached the suppliers of the first robot. However, we were pleased with the technical parameters of the Panasonic robots offered by Valk Welding. They are at the forefront of TIG welding technology, we took into account, for example, better arc ignition and other advantages. We have been involved in the selection for quite some time and have also included Valk Welding's very good references. For example, the references of other manufacturers," explains R. Rusev about the choice of partner for robot welding.

The heart of Valk Welding's robot welding cell is the Panasonic TM 1800WG3 robot, which, together with two 2-axis L-positioner PD 1000/500 with a turning diameter of 1550 mm, is placed on an E-shaped frame. The welding robot system includes an automatic replacement of tungsten electrode’s.

The robot welds the components of the combi ovens such as the plinth 6/10 C01-2400, the chimney 611 C05-2900, the sink 6/10 C32-2010. According to R. Rusev, the workshop works in two shifts and the capacity of the welding robot is high enough. "We are still working on expanding the number of products made on it".
The welding robot is operated by one person, who makes the material and starts the welding program.

The expectations came true

According to R. Rusev, the use of a welding robot with TIG welding technology requires thorough preparation, which was also the case with RETIGO. "It took a lot of effort, it was necessary to make relatively complex moulds so that the individual parts could be correctly positioned during welding. In some cases, we also had to modify the design of the welded parts to meet the requirements of robotized TIG welding. Not everywhere where a manual welder can go, a robot can go," he explains.

After delivery and installation of the welding robot system in RETIGO, they - with the help of employees from Valk Welding - gradually converted each individual product, which sometimes involved multiple tests or modifications of the products. The geographical proximity of the company proved to be a great advantage at the time. "It is a company from the region, so we expected good service and support, which was confirmed to us. By service, I mainly mean programming support. We had the contractual agreement that Valk Welding's mechanics would train the operator as part of the installation of the welding cell and at the same time program multiple products so that we could start serial production. As our experience grew, we were gradually able to program the welding of new products with our own capabilities. Now we do it ourselves, but sometimes we use the consultation with the employees of Valk Welding," says R. Rusev.

And he adds that thanks to Valk Welding's robotic workshop, the company's ability to maintain the quality of the produced welds and thus the end products for a long time is repeatedly confirmed.

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