Welding robot contributes to independence and flexibility

HON is a family business with almost one hundred years of experience in furniture production. HON is located in the Opava region of the Czech Republic. The story began in 1924, when Jan Hon established his own workshop. Today, HON is a modern furniture manufacturer with 170 employees and state-of-the-art technological equipment.


HON a.s. develops and manufactures high quality furniture for offices and business premises. Particularly popular on the market are the HONmove height-adjustable desks, which were developed in-house based on the first prototype and meet the strictest ergonomic criteria.

The company's diversity is also supported by three in-house kitchen studios and the fact that HON has its own metal production plant. "We are a purely Czech manufacturer, and we have a unique position on the market because we are all-encompassing. In addition to wood, we also work with acoustic materials, we have our own upholstery factory, but above all we can also produce metal parts for our furniture," explains Václav Hon Jr., director of HON a.s., and representative of the fourth generation.

Metal production has strengthened the entire company

The introduction of metal production in 2007 was fundamental for the family business. Since the increasing demand for quantity, variability and quality of metal furniture components could not be met by external suppliers, the company solved this by setting up its own "engineering" production. This significantly expanded its production portfolio and eliminated its dependence on external supplies. One year after its establishment, it even became a supplier of metal parts to other customers.

Currently, this production centre of HON a.s. has the technological capabilities for CNC laser cutting of hollow sections and plates, their precise CNC bending, MIG/MAG and TIG welding, blasting, degreasing and powder coating. Currently, metal production represents about 35% of the total production volume of HON Inc. Approximately 70% to 80% of metal production consists of parts for custom furniture assemblies, with the remainder being products for other furniture or interior design companies.

We did not choose the cheapest solution, but from our point of view it was the most sensible one.

A. Hon

Robots for more capacity and flexibility

The decision to purchase a robotic welding workstation was a natural one, says V. Hon. "At the time, the demand for height-adjustable tables was increasing rapidly, we needed more welders, and our own capacity was no longer sufficient. At the same time, there is a long-term shortage of welders in the market, so the purchase of a robotic welding shop was logical," says V. Hon. A. Hon adds that after a selection process with three companies, the final choice fell on Valk Welding. "We did not choose the cheapest solution, but from our point of view it was the most sensible one. We considered the technical concept, the functional elements, the control environment, but also the availability of services and the level of communication. All this convinced us that Valk Welding's solution was the best for us. We received a solid solution from a proven company, and if we had to choose again, we would choose Valk Welding again."

The robotic welding workstation became part of the existing metal production area. In practice, this meant considering the real space possibilities. The workstation is based on a Panasonic TL - 1800 WG3 welding robot with positioning equipment.

The robot mainly welds parts for HONmove height-adjustable tables - columns, bases, complete bases, and booms. Also, other metal parts needed for the company's own furniture production and the production of external customers. These are mostly medium-sized welded parts with a wide variety of types typical of the furniture industry.

The rotary positioning tables are designed to allow us to use as many fixtures as possible, this way we can weld different types of welds and ensure that the changeover is as fast as possible," explains the company manager. "Robotic welding is fast while maintaining a consistently high quality, which means less material is lost. The ability to weld multiple pieces of the same weld simultaneously is also an advantage.

Three employees are trained to operate the workstation. Welding programs are prepared offline by a programmer on his computer and "uploaded" by the operator to the robot.

When collaboration benefits everyone

Valk Welding is guided by the slogan "The strong connection", which symbolizes not only the strength of the weld, but also the quality of the relationship with customers. When Valk Welding's Czech representative office moved from rented premises in Mosnov to its new own headquarters in Paskov at the end of 2019, one of the things that had to be arranged was the furnishing of the premises. Valk Welding therefore naturally chose its customer, HON, as its supplier. The company supplied not only ergonomic height-adjustable desks, but also other furniture for offices, meeting, and training rooms. So, the relationship between Valk Welding and HON is not just one-way traffic.


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