FAQ

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Who is best to involve in my project?

It requires a team effort to successfully deploy a welding robot in your company.

We always recommend involving the people who will be working with the system later on during the early stages of a project. It is certainly recommended that you pay a visit to Valk Welding to get a good feel of the products and the supplier. By involving your team spontaneity will increase, which will be beneficial for your investment.

Can I as a customer also use your Technical Centre after delivery of my unit?

Despite the fact that we are not a supplier, we are always available to assist you in our Technical Centre if you have a specific requirement, e.g. if you want to test a new welding process on an existing product or if you want to create prototypes for a new project. The appropriate conditions and cost price are evaluated in each individual instance and discussed with you. If your requirements demand should go beyond what is described above we will be happy to refer you to another customer who should be able to assist you with your specific requirements. There are various suppliers available in the network of Valk Welding, which should enable you to create a mutually beneficial agreement.

What guarantee do I have that my system will meet my expectations/order?

We have been working on establishing the label "Valk Welding" for more than 50 years already, so we know what it takes to complete a project to the satisfaction of the customer. We also put together each project on our premises and test it in full. Before delivery, we invite you, our customer, to a FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) whereby we can produce a product with your unit as you would do it after delivery. The unit is only prepared for transport after a successful FAT and if it meets your criteria. After delivery and unit on site an SAT (Site Acceptance Test) is carried out, which is a repeat of the FAT, only on your premises. This provides you with peace of mind that your investment is fully functional.

Who within Valk Welding is aware of my status as a customer?

Valk Welding has developed an online portal that can be consulted by anyone to keep a good eye on the continued growth and to stay abreast of developments at our clients.

This portal is known as Vawep and it provides everyone with an overview of outstanding issues at a customer of a commercial, technical or financial nature. In this way we can provide you as our customer with the assurance that your interests are always served at our company in a timely and correct manner and in a person-independent manner. The portal is also accessible via mobile devices through a secure connection. If you have any questions you can contact us to check the status of your affairs.

Will my project be handled by only one person?

No, as a vital partner for many companies we owe it to our customers that they are not obliged to work with only one person. Naturally you will have a personal point of contact, but behind that person a whole team of people will be fully aware of your requirements, so there will always be someone available to assist you if your contact person should not be available.

On top of the digital project files that everyone has access to, we have also developed a Valk Welding portal system for retrieving information required online within our company, which can be shared with others in real time. This allows everyone to see for instance which items are still outstanding for your product or your company.

I want to use TIG welding with cold wire, but the reachability of my product is a limitation. Is there a solution available?

The VWP-R TIG torch is as standard fitted with a rotatable cold wire feeder. This allows you to automatically adjust the direction of the cold wire feeder, depending on the situation. A preprogrammed robot program is responsible for rotation, so a separate drive is not necessary and the torch can remain compact.

I want to use TIG welding with my welding robot, but I do not want a high-frequency signal in my production hall, is this possible?

Yes, it is possible.

Panasonic has developed a unique "lift-arc" function for TIG welding steel and stainless steel which does not require a high-frequency start currency. Thanks to fusion technology (one processor for the robot, power source, manipulators, ...) the reaction time of the report is so quick that there is no adverse effect for the electrode.

Can Valk Welding take back my old unit?

Despite the age or condition of your old unit, it is always worth something. We will discuss the options available with the new proposal. Your old unit will be moved to our robot graveyard, however.

Can I lease directly from Valk Welding?

The option to lease and H frame or E frame unit from Valk Welding is available within our standard packages, so if you require more information, please get in touch with your contact person at Valk Welding.

Can I lease my robot unit?

Yes, it is possible.

We recommend that you contact an existing financial institution so that we can prepare a package together. Valk Welding has been collaborating with a number of banks over the years and we are very well schooled in this process.

What level should my programmer be capable of to work with a Valk Welding system?

The majority of the programmers at our customers were originally welders and they showed enthusiasm to master the machine.

Knowledge of the welding process is certainly a plus, although Weld Navigator also means that a vast amount of welding knowledge is available in the robot as standard. This allows for persons that do not have extensive knowledge of welding to be able to work with a Valk Welding robot system.

If I should decide to buy a Panasonic robot at a later stage, will I have to reprogramme everything?

No, not necessarily. The unique calibrated robots at Valk Welding allow for the transfer of existing programs to your new robot via the DTPS offline programming system. Downward conversion is also possible, subject to a few conditions.

Is a push-pull system required for aluminium with my robot?

No. In fact, we advise against it.

Valk Welding has created an optimum wire feeding system with the VWP-R torch with matching hose package, plus the Wire Wizard solutions and a unique Panasonic servo motor, which means that the conventional push-pull system is no longer necessary. Our system is also cheaper and less vulnerable in the event of an accident, etc. Please ask us for more information.

Is the Quick Touch wire search accurate enough?

The Quick Touch wire search system was developed by Valk Welding to provide high accuracy during the search.

To achieve this, Valk Welding improved upon the conventional wire search system improved and expanded on it with unique developments, which are also found in the VWP-R torch equipment. The Quick Touch wire search system is currently the most popular and best-selling sensor system, also for precision applications.

Is the cycle time criterion the only option that I should consider when deciding on a welding robot?

No, the cost of the welding process is certainly important, but in many cases the following facts are more important than the cycle time: A higher welding quality means that no finishing work is required, which is a great advantage as finishing costs are often higher than the cost of welding. Working conditions for your employees are also significantly improved (welding fumes, radiation, difficult body position, ...), which will in turn have a positive effect on productivity. The availability of welders is a growing problem, as is the skill levels of people. With a welding robot you can rest assured that the knowledge and quality provided by the robot programmes will remain within your organisation.

I only want to buy the robot with welding equipment and do the rest myself, is this possible?

Yes, it is possible.

We would be happy to provide you with advice on the best approach. We provide the same level as service, irrespective of whether you buy parts, or a complete unit. If you need further assistance from us you can contact our after sales service and you can determine for yourself how much we need to do for you.

I have a confidential project, how is this dealt with?

Confidentiality is an important value that we always respect.

Any project that is accepted under such conditions is first of all properly discussed internally so that everyone is aware of the situation. Separate arrangements can also be made to put together the unit in a screened location. It goes without saying that any project is always treated with confidentiality and we will never disclose your information to any third party without your permission.

I have an old robot that is still used for production. Is this the most profitable way to keep producing?

Not always. This must be looked at in more detail. Your robot may not cost you anything, but the operator costs you a little bit more every year.

With older robots output such as cycle time and welding quality is often lower than when compared to the latest technology. If you project the costs involved with the operating it may well be that your product is more expensive when you are using an old robot. Please feel free to contact us so we can discuss your situation in detail and provide you with the right advice.

I have an old unit, can I upgrade it to later technology?

We have converted existing units for various clients (including units that were originally equipped with a different type of robot) into state-of-the-art technology from Panasonic. This includes smaller units as well as large units with multiple robots, gallows structures, longitudinal shifting, manipulators, ..

How to assess the feasibility of the project?

We insist on a trial / demo demonstration in our technical center for each project. There were already built several robotic systems using the latest technologies that can be applied to your product (or part thereof) in your presence, using the technology that we have available. This allows us to give you a realistic view of the options available and the quality they provide, so that we can confirm the feasibility of your project. The welded part can also be stored as a reference point for the FAT (Factory Acceptance Test), to assess the performance of your robot. This test is carried out for a new project for free.

What can I prepare before the system is delivered?

 Provide tension, air and gas in the right place.

I am relocating, so wouldn't it be better to postpone my investment?

Not necessarily. Valk Welding has been specialising for many years in manufacturing robotic systems that can easily be relocated, while keeping all robot programmes in tact during the relocation process.

Some of our concepts are completely mobile, which means that you can quickly and easily relocate your unit within your production zone (to optimise your production flow), or even relocate it to a different establishment all together. The great advantage is that starting up a new unit at your premises only takes one or two days as a welding robot programme that has passed the FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) is immediately ready to be deployed in production.

Is it only beneficial to use a welding robot for large series?

This question has been superfluous for many years now. Programming has become much easier on several fronts (our Easy Programming concept is already well known), which means that it can be profitable for you to produce very small batches or only a few pieces, depending on certain factors.

If you deal with recurring small production numbers the unique PPS calibration system from Valk Welding in conjunction with VWPR welding equipment is the ideal solution for you. Virtually all units are fitted with our ATC (Automatic Tool Control) system, which allows the robot to regularly check its own accuracy independently of the operator which controls the robot.

What is the average term for a return on investment?

Many aspects must be taken into consideration to properly answer this question. With the majority of our projects it can be stated that with the increased operational cycle of welding robots when compared to manual welders, the average return on investment period is between 1.5 to 3 years with a single shift system. If you should work in two or three shifts this period should also change proportionally. As a very basic sample calculation, the annual salary of 2 or 3 manual welders, including all related costs, can be earned back over a period of one year, which does not even take into account the fact that much less finishing work would be required (or even none at all). With the latest arc-welding techniques the weld quality can increase significantly, which means that you may even decide that inspections for welding spatter afterwards is a thing of the past. The wages you would have paid to these persons and reduced machine costs equals additional profit for you.

Should my welding robot be in constant production to be profitable?

No, this is certainly not always the case. Several of our customers have shown that a lower investment in a solution with fewer options can be just as feasible as large units that are permanently operational. This also applies to the question whether one robot requires multiple workstations, or if one workstation is sufficient.

Everything revolves around profitability and our technical advisor can provide you with a clear mathematical answer on this subject.

My products are not consistently accurate, does this mean that they are not suitable for a welding robot?

Not at all. Depending on the type of deviation and the base material used we should be able to find the appropriate sensor to ensure that the robot can inspect the item itself before starting the welding process in order to automatically make any adjustments required to its programme.

Can Valk Welding provide me with assistance in multiple establishments?

Valk Welding is a fully independent system integrator that is capable of operating across the world without any restrictions on the implementation of projects and we also provide training for people and after sales service. We have an extensive multilingual team that works all across Europe and beyond. You only have to deal with one contact person at our company for all of your projects, which is beneficial to you when it comes to clarity, uniformity, agreements and knowledge. The languages ​​ we are most often required to use include Dutch, English, French, German, Czech, Polish, Danish, Turkish and Russian, but we can also cater for Chinese and Arabic.

Can I maintain my unit independently?

You can always count on the extensive service network of Valk Welding, but you can also assume responsibility for maintenance on your own. If you prefer to do so we recommend that you attend a specialist maintenance training course first to ensure that you have all the knowledge required to do so properly. You can also order any parts you may need directly from us. If you prefer not to do this on your own you can always rely on our professional service system.

Can I customise my unit at a later stage?

Most of our solutions are completely modular, which means that it is possible to change the system later on or even to add to it. In this way, depending on the options available, you can also spread out your investment, which also allows you to easily gain access to the latest technology in-house.

Can I use my welding robot for MIG/MAG and TIG welding?

Since the introduction of the Panasonic Tawers WG series, it is possible to weld MIG/MAG (SP MAG/Hyper Dippuls, ...) and DC TIG using the same robot unit/power source, as well as TIG with cold wire feeding.

To do this only an optional software upgrade is required plus a TIG torch, VWPR TIG type, which is fully compatible with the VWPR MIG/MAG torch. TIG welding can also be performed using a cold wire feed by using the same wire feeder as for MIG/MAG welding since this motor is also controlled as an external motor shaft to guarantee a perfect wire feed at both high and low speeds. The VWPR TIG torch is as standard equipped with a cold wire feeder system that can easily be rotated around the TIG electrode, which vastly improves the range of work pieces that are normally difficult to reach. The TIG welding process also requires TIG electrodes to be replaced regularly. To cater for this we have designed an automatic TIG electrode exchange system to significantly improve the productivity of your unit. If it is necessary to change between MIG/MAG and TIG while working on a single piece, we can optionally also propose our unique torch exchange system.

Can a robot unit be certified like my welder?

A welding robot is unfortunately not a person and skills attributed to a person cannot be attributed to a machine. It is possible, however, to have a robot programme certified with the relevant welding parameters so that the robot can also deliver certified work. One great advantage is that the robot will always implement the programme precisely and the risk of human error is excluded. The robots can also monitor/register welding parameters, including non-optional ones, to ensure that this information is available in your quality system for each welded product.

Is it important to become a part of the Valk Welding network?

Absolutely. We regularly organise Valk Welding User Days and we invite all of the users to attend this free event at Valk Welding. This provides you with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments and to exchange technical and commercial experience with other users. This network could also help you to outsource work during peak periods to companies that have the same technology available in-house as you. The ultimate option in this process is of course the interchangeability of welding robot programmes via our DTPS offline programming system.

How many different stakeholders are involved in a single project at Valk Welding?

Only one stakeholder, which is Valk Welding itself. This ensures that we remain responsible for the project throughout and we can always respond immediately when necessary. The same applies to simple units and for Total Turn Key projects that involve installation of the robot itself, as well as welding moulds and programming. Each unit is subjected to a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) whereby you, the buyer can see the entire unit in our premises and test it before moving the unit to your own premises.

We also occupy a unique position as a part of the Development Team at our main supplier Panasonic, and we use our vast experience to develop a few unique solutions in-house (PPS calibration system, Quick Touch wire search system, Arc Eye laser camera system, the APG programming module, ...).

We can supply the robot unit itself, as well as additional provisions such as welding wire, which means that we can assume full responsibility for an entire project

Does my selection of a welding robot also influence the choice of welding process?

By choosing a Panasonic welding robot you can be sure that your welding process can only benefit. Due to the capabilities of a robot with regard to motion accuracy at high speed (which is not always evident for a welder), boundaries of the welding process can be shifted, whereby the choice of a more cost-effective welding process suddenly becomes feasible.

In more specific terms, this includes manual TIG welding, which can also be done by a robot with SP MAG/HYPER DIPPULS. Welding speed is also 3 to 5 times faster, while introducing significantly lower heat.

The welding process also requires less attention as there are for instance no electrodes that require maintenance.