More and more customers are requiring the quality of robot welding as standard
More and more customers are requiring the quality of robot welding as standard. According to Menno Brok of Bromedo Metaal, once they have become accustomed to the quality of robot welds customers are becoming less willing to accept the quality of manual welding. The demand for the series size that the welding robot is used for is therefore becoming less important. As a result of this Bromedo soon found itself facing problems with the capacity of the welding robot system. "The trouble was that we didn't have enough space for a second welding robot on an H-frame." Valk Welding responded to this by building a compact welding robot cell of 2 x 2 m for Bromedo. "We're now only using that for small products. A perfect addition to the bigger cell."
Bromedo's turnover has barely been adversely affected in recent years. Menno Brok: "Quite a few companies have gone bankrupt because of the crisis. That means that outsourcers have to go in search of another supplier. We're also benefiting from the good reputation we've built up over the past 22 years and are delivering our own product in the form of the Esmono noise-damping drum cabins. We are now a financially healthy company with stable growth in turnover and employing 29 people." The Menno and his brother Jeroen Brok took over the company from their father last year.
Retaining work thanks to the welding robot
The use of robot welding has provided an effective way of gaining customer loyalty for Bromedo. “Without the welding robot we'd have lost a lot of work. The switch from manual to robot welding made it possible for us to pass on the benefits of automation in the form of more competitive pricing for customers. But customers expect not just a competitive price, but a consistently high level of quality, too. For on-call contracts each batch, however small, must be delivered with the same welding quality. You can offer that guarantee to customers with a welding robot, but not with manual welding. In more complex frames there are so many welds that there is a good chance of welds being forgotten if the work is done manually. This increases the chance of rejection as compared to robot welding, which also guarantees that all of the welds have been done. No rejected products leads to customer satisfaction and bigger returns. The returns are found not just in the capacity utilisation and cost savings, but above all in the consistently high quality and high replication precision. That means a double advantage", explains Menno Brok.
Compact robot welding cell
With dimensions of 2 x 2 m, the cell that Valk Welding has built for Bromedo can be described as very compact. Menno Brok “The lack of space prompted us to consider a small cell, and the existing welding robot system with 2 3 m work stations is in many cases too big for small products. The small cell is equipped with a Panasonic TA-1400 welding robot on a single work station with a clamping bench of 1.5 m that can be continuously manipulated by a Panadice. "The manipulator means that the accessibility of the welding robot is no longer limited. The cell is also supplied with a high speed door at the front. The advantage of a complete and integrated system is that you can always extend it with a second work station on the other side and can carry out TIG as well as MIG welding. We are already doing that with the larger cell that Valk Welding supplied in 2009. But we use this compact cell exclusively for MIG welding of steel products."
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“Once they have become accustomed to the quality of robot welds customers are becoming less willing to accept the quality of manual welding.”