Zuidberg increases output with welding robots in ferris wheel concept

The ferris wheel concept is one of the standard frame solutions from Valk Welding, in which two positioning frames, as in a ferris wheel, always remain horizontal during rotation and the welding robot always welds behind the fixed screen. Zuidberg Components recently chose this concept to further expand the capacity in the robot welding department. Managing Director Vincent Schreuder and Senior Foreman Welding, Rudolf Koopman talk about the many advantages the concept offers.


Zuidberg is known as a manufacturer of agricultural solutions (front lifts, PTOs and tracks) and industrial solutions (transmissions and machine components). Within the group, Zuidberg Components takes care of the parts production for its ‘own’ products as well as for other machine manufacturers and producers in Europe (OEMs).

Replacement, renewal and expansion of welding robot systems

The company expects a growth of 50% over the next 5 years, with the bulk of the growth to come from the production and sale of front lift systems, PTOs, transmissions and components for OEMs. Within the welding department, therefore, substantial investments were made in replacement, renewal and expansion of the welding robot systems. Vincent Schreuder: “The existing Track-Frame-EE system with 8 stations is completely upgraded by Valk Welding with the latest Panasonic welding robots and controllers. We use this cell for high-mix, low-volume production”.

Higher output

“For the fast running products we have chosen 2 standard C-frames with 2 workstations that change according to the principle of a ferris wheel. The operator is always in the same position and no longer has to shuttle back and forth between the stations (less logistic movements). Because both the jigs and the assemblies can be hoisted outside the welding zone, this way of working produces a higher output. A perfect solution for the larger quantities. Moreover, the ferris wheel concept requires less space and an additional welding light shield is not necessary because the robot always welds at the rear of the fixed screen,” explains Rudolf Koopman.

Reduced changeover time

The jigs are mounted to the positioner with a zero-point clamping system on one side. To be able to load the positioner even above 500 kg, the frame on the opposite side is equipped with a pneumatic counter bearing. “The idea of the zero point clamping system comes from Zuidberg Machining where we have good experiences with Schunk systems for handling of the machining jigs. In addition to reducing changeover times, it allows us to clamp the jigs with 100% accuracy,” explains the manager.

Valk Welding total supplier

“The reason we switched to Valk Welding in 2007 was because they were a total supplier that could deliver a complete system including offline programming and the corresponding welding equipment. The fact that a supplier thinks along with our strategy also plays an important role in the cooperation”, emphasizes Vincent Schreuder.


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