Using welding robot automation to achieve healthy growth

Vlemmix markets Tiny House trailers, machine transporters and boat trailers with volume production at competitive prices. As a result, the company from Asten in Brabant has become one of the largest boat trailer producers and a market leader in Europe for its Tiny House trailers. To meet the increasing demand, Vlemmix invested in welding automation last year. With a large system in which the trailers are completely welded with two welding robots. The trailer builder was thus able to significantly increase capacity. At the beginning of this year, two additional welding robots were included in the system, reducing the average cycle time of a trailer to twenty minutes instead of fifty. ‘’Where we came from an annual production of 3,500 pieces, we want to go to a production of 6,000 pieces per year,’’ according to Bas Vlemmix, who is responsible within the family business for programming the welding robots and the entire cell.


Through over a hundred sales outlets spread throughout Europe, Vlemmix sells not only boat trailers but also trailers for Tiny Houses which are up to ten meters in length. ‘’That is where the biggest growth is at the moment. Our aim is to be able to weld these together in about twenty minutes, and standard boat trailers in eight to fifteen minutes. That’s a gigantic time saving when you consider that our trailers used to be welded by hand in six to seven hours. Before that happens, we still need to adjust a large part of the programs, because we are now welding with four welding robots instead of two,’’ says Bas Vlemmix.

Manipulated in a carousel

The plate and tube parts for the trailers are stretched manually in one of the three jigs outside the welding robot installation. All models of trailers can be welded on only three jigs in the welding robot plant. Inside the installation, the jigs are fully rotated in a carousel in half a minute, so that the robots weld in a continuous process, both the bottom and top of the trailers are completely welded in one go. ‘’Entry and exit of the jigs from the welding robot installation takes one minute. Due to the short changeover times, the welding robots achieve a high duty cycle. In two shifts we currently weld an average of twenty trailers a day’’, explains Bas Vlemmix.

Shortening delivery times

Whereas previously more than ten people used to weld trailers manually, Vlemmix has done so with three people since the welding robot installation was commissioned. ‘’Most importantly, this has allowed us to increase the output to meet the high demand. The purpose of the capacity increase is to reduce the average delivery time’’.

Short lines in the supply chain

Vlemmix outsources both the sheet metal and the tube cutting work to local suppliers. Their production systems are optimally equipped for this. We have a large stock of parts in order to be more flexible. We do the assembly and welding, after which the trailers are galvanized externally’’. Final assembly takes place in the adjacent hall.

Quality improvement

‘’With the automation stroke, we have not only been able to greatly increase the output. The welding robots always do exactly what is programmed, which results in every weld being the same and having the same tight weld appearance, which also means we have made a big quality improvement,” Bas Vlemmix summarises.
Kuunders Technoworks engineered, designed, and realised the construction of the welding carousel including jigs. Valk Welding took care of the integration of the welding robots.



Download the full Valk Mailing



We like to think along with you in finding solutions for your (welding) automation, welding wires and welding accessories. We are looking for the connection and prefer to be a partner rather than a supplier.