Elmar Metaalbewerking expands welding capacity strongly
Elmar Metaalbewerking has already had its hands full with work for its existing clients for many years. "We've got so much work that extending our capacity is an absolute must", explains group director Willie de Veer. That is also noticeable at the welding department. The increased amount of work made it necessary to robotise more of the manual welding work. In addition to the 2 existing welding robot cells of Valk Welding, Elmar ordered 3 welding robot cells in quick succession.
Elmar Metaalbewerking is a division of the Elmar group in Montfoort, a conglomerate of a total of eight metal and wood processing companies, each with its own specific product-market approach. Barosta specialises in stainless steel tank and equipment building, Tebuma in machining and Elmar Metaalbewerking in supplying offshore, machine building, automotive, etc. That makes it possible for the group to serve its customers almost entirely itself. The companies also outsource work to each other for that purpose. The group employs a total of more than 200 people.
All processing technologies under one roof
The Elmar group therefore has machinery that includes all current production technologies, primarily A-brands. Virtually all of the plating and machining work is carried out by Elmar Metaalbewerking. Up until now some of the welding work on steel had been carried out on an older generation Panasonic welding robot. Willie de Veer: "We weld complex structures by hand, but it is better to use the welding robot for frequently recurring sub-components. This is partly for efficiency reasons, and partly for the high and consistent welding quality. We are also suffering from the shortage of professional welders on the market. That just about makes automation a necessity.
Welding robots on H and E frame structure
The increasing pressure on the welding robot made capacity expansion inevitable. "The latest generation of welding robots also means getting the latest technology, which means that we are able to take over certified welding work. Following a standard cell with a Panasonic TA-1400WG3 welding robot with a freely-programmable turntable, we quickly purchased a 2nd system on an E-frame structure with a drop-centre and a Panadice 1000-III support bearing. This system can be used to rotate and weld products up to 4000 mm and even 8000 mm, and we have taken another step forward in capacity and size. In response to the amount of work another welding robot on an H-frame (H3100) was added at the beginning of this year. This is equipped with a Panasonic TA-1800WG3 welding robot with 2 freely programmable work piece manipulators, suitable for work pieces up to 3.0 m. All of the systems are programmed on the robot itself, but we have now also purchased DTPS and Thick Plate software, which means that we'll soon be able to program offline as well. In combination with DTPS Thick Plate software simplifies the programming of multiple layer welding.
Training new people ourselves
"At first the welders weren't keen on switching to robot welding, but their interest gradually grew. Instead of welding manually you now programme a welding robot and deliver three times the amount of work. What could be better?", wonders Willie de Veer. The Elmar group is always on the lookout for good craftsmen. "Good craftsmen are cherished by their employers and stay in their jobs. It's always difficult to find good quality employees", says Willie de Veer. That's why the company also trains new people itself. For that purpose Elmar is also happy to take on vocational education apprentices, who in addition to their 2 days a week at school come and work with us for three days a week and are guided on those days by experienced employees.
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“The latest generation of welding robots also means getting the latest technology, which means that we are able to take over certified welding work.”