A strong growth in the business and a shortage of specialist welders, forced the Danish company Bramidan to make a step to robot automation.
Bramidan asked Valk Welding to help them finding a solution to run the high mix of products within limited changeover times. Production Manager, Niels Grue Sandberg, explained, “With the welding robots we get a better welding quality and a much faster production flow through the company. On average, three times faster then manual welding.”
Bramidan is a leading manufacturer of vertical balers for compaction of cardboard, plastic and other recyclable materials. With safety in mind, the balers are designed and built according to the highest quality standards. Bramidan has a total of 135 employees in Bramming at Esbjerg and in sales departments around the world. 95 Percent of the production is exported and the company is one of the three leading manufacturers of vertical balers in the world.
EXPERIENCE WITH PANASONIC
Sandberg has more than 20 years’ experience with welding robots. “In a previous job, I got to know Panasonic as a leading brand. Panasonic aims at a higher level with its all-in-one concept and with Valk Welding, I immediately had the feeling that with their competence, they would be able to fulfill our requirements. We had already adjusted the design of all of our models to be even more suitable for robot welding, so that we were well prepared for the next phase,” explained Niels Grue Sandberg.
NO STANDARD SOLUTION
“Where other providers to a larger extend offered a standard solution, Valk Welding looked at what we needed instead of what they wanted to sell. For that reason, Valk Welding was the only company we continued with after the first rounds. One of the problems was that we no longer wanted to have separate fixture systems for the various baler models. Valk Welding suggested a ‘multi-fixture’ solution that could hold the various models without any adjustments, which greatly reduced the changeover times. Furthermore, their Quick Touch concept is a very efficient and reliable welding seam searching system.”
Bramidan’s balers are first pre-assembled from many different steel parts and then welded by the robot. To provide the welding robot optimal access to the complex products, Valk Welding chose a concept where the Panasonic TM 1600 WG3 welding robot is mounted on an XYZ gallows-type construction in a hanging position and moves along a 4-metre HLVP-VP track. The frames are positioned in a drop center manipulator to provide optimal accessibility for the welding robot. Niels Grue Sandberg “Units with long time welding runs, requires a stable process. Today we can run one unit in two to three hours without any interruption. The installation runs 140+ hours a week now. On a second system on a H-frame we are welding smaller parts and sub-assemblies.”
LIGHTS OUT PRODUCTION
Bramidan previously had a manpower based manual production in two shift. With the introduction of the new welding robot installation, the amount of shifts is not reduced but capacity is increased significantly also with robot continues welding during the last part of the day while there are no employees present in the company. “By the start of the next shift, the welding robot has finished welding the frame. Such a high level of reliability was previously unattainable. Furthermore, it results in a considerable saving on the labour costs, which are rather high in Denmark,” said Niels Grue Sandberg.
"I cannot imagine what we should do without the robots today. Since we have increased the workflow in the production and the business is still growing, we are at the point to invest in a larger copy of the biggest welding robot installation, that can run without manpower during the night and weekend shift. Then we can further expand the production capacity and it keeps the cost down in Denmark, where the salaries are high.”
Productiemanager Niels Grue Sandberg: "I cannot imagine what we should do without the robots today.”
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