Welding robots drive line production at Renson Outdoors

Renson is a manufacturer of high-end patio covers, wall cladding, screens, and ventilation systems. Within the product range, terrace coverings form a strongly growing product group. Recently Renson invested in a completely new outdoor experience centre with a new production site. In order to meet demand, the company has fully automated the production of the roof slats for its canopies. Valk Welding was involved in this from the beginning where, through intensive cooperation, eventually two fully automated production lines were realised with which the high-quality requirements of the manufacturer could be met. "That should be enough to cope with the growth over the next four years," says Engineering Manager Jeroen Caen.

Renson Outdoors

Production at Renson, originally specialised in the processing of aluminium profiles, was, as far as roof slats were concerned, divided into cutting the profiles to length, brushing them, and attaching drainage profiles to the ends of the roof profiles using spot welding. Until previously, these were three separate manual processes, which Renson Outdoor wanted to integrate into one automated line. The idea behind this was to greatly reduce branch time, increase output, and improve quality.

Switch to arc welding

That was also the starting point for the switch to arc welding. "A new technology within our company, but with more possibilities in terms of range and a more beautiful, consistent and qualitative welding result. Valk Welding first conducted extensive welding tests for this, among other things to assess the feasibility of the project," explains Jeroen Caen. This led to the delivery of a first welding robot installation in 2018, with a Panasonic welding robot on a track welding the drainage profiles to the roof lamellae. Valk Welding also realised the handling of the drainage profiles and supply of the profiles for the roof lamellae.

Compensating bending and torsion of the profiles

Jeroen Caen continues: "The fact that aluminium profiles bend and torsion slightly by themselves posed the necessary challenges when positioning the welding robot. Too much torsion inevitably leads to failure. To prevent this, Valk Welding went looking for solutions to compensate for these deformations. Intensive and constructive cooperation from both is very important in such a process to achieve a successful end result."

Further reduction of the branch time

With the experience gained from the first line, a concept for a second line has now also been developed, in which the welding robot also controls the sawing and brushing machine. Moreover, the decision was made to deploy 2 welding robots so that both ends can be welded simultaneously. With the installation of this line this year, a 50% reduction in branch time has been realised, which has enabled Renson's capacity requirement to be met.

Higher level

The process of welding the drainage profiles is now far optimised and fully under control. Despite the high complexity of the lines, operation is simple," is Jeroen Caen's experience. "Multiple operations are completed at different speeds in a continuous process. Supervision with the necessary technical background does therefore remain necessary.

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