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Metal-Fach Sp, one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery in Poland, has entered into a long-term partnership with Valk Welding for a large-scale renewal and expansion of the welding robot capacity.

The high welding quality, offline programming and the system for weld seam searching, were decisive arguments for the choice of Valk Welding as their supplier. The project includes the delivery of six welding robot installations in a period of 10 months.

Metal-Fach already had experience in robotic welding. But they faced with limitations due to the lack of a well-functioning tracking system, especially in welding workpieces with large tolerances. Mr. Mr. Michaluk, Process Engineer: “The programs had to be adjusted manually, which takes a lot of time and did not provide a consistent welding quality. We want to deliver products of the highest quality, so we need only proven solutions to meet our requirements. The use of welding robots plays a crucial role for quality and efficiency.” For this reason, Metal-Fach has started an intensive search for a reliable partner in this field.

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Complex phase of tests
Valk Welding has performed a serie of welding demonstrations at the technical center in Mosnov CZ ,for the products provided by Metal-Fach. Numerous reference visits were also made to Valk Welding customers. Also of the offline programming process of a trailer frame element in the offline DTPS software was presented. After the reference visits and welding tests, Metal-Fach decided to chose the technology and "knowhow" of Valk Welding. It tookes two years, from the first meeting with Metal-Fach staff, until the first order was signed. This time was needed to build the right relationship at mutual trust between companies. It also enabled Metal-Fach to prepare more programming friendly constructions for robotic welding.

Simplification of the programming
Simplification of the programming and the possibility of welding large frames in high quality were at the top of the wishlist of the machine manufacturer. Valk Welding, as a European robot integrator, with a far-reaching specialization in welding robotisation, offers with DTPS software an excellent solutions for virtual offline programming. With more than 750 licenses in Europe, DTPS is one of the most widely used offline programming systems in Europe for offline programming. DTPS was developed in close coöperation between Panasonic and Valk Welding to flexibly facilitate and automate welding production.

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Seam tracking
In order to achieve a high production quality when welding large frames, it is important that the welding robot first check the deviations in the workpiece and, if necessary, corrects the position of the weldseam in the welding program. Valk Welding uses the Quick Touch search system. In that case, the welding robot first measures, by touching the welding wire where after the position of the welded element and compares the found positions with the programmed positions. All deviations are automatically corrected by the software in whole or in part of the program, thanks to which the welding robot accurately finds the location of the weldseam, so that a high welding quality can be guaranteed.

First system
Metal-Fach decided to purchase the first robotic welding system for welding 2200 x 4200 mm sized tractor trailer frames. Thanks to this system, Metal-Fach company has achieved a double increase of efficiency". This system proved to be a great success and Metal-Fach decided to extend it with one more welding robot that will allow to fully use the capabilities of the system and provide the welding process in two working stations independently.

Another five welding robot installations
This year Valk Welding installed another five installations, for robotised welding of smaller constructions, semi-finished products, subassemblies, large spatial structures and for large production volume of boilers for heating installations. The systems for the boilers is equipped with a two-axis DropCenter manipulator. “Thanks to the DropCenter manipulator, we are able to set the workpieces to the most convenient position for welding.”

Offline programming
Mr. Rymaszewski, Production Manager: “We use the off-line programming DTPS now very much. This 3D software has greatly simplified the work of the programmers. DTPS is also used to modify programs that were made online with the Teach Pendant.

Not without our "super crew"
Mr. Rymaszewski: “The change of weldingrobot technology is not only a way of investing in hardware and software and changes in logistics or construction. A very important element in this puzzle is to create the right team of people whose knowledge, mutual understanding and, above all, determination are the basis of success. Without the creation of this "super crew", such a rapid implementation of robotic welding and serial production would not be possible.”. It should also be noted that the size of Metal-Fach’s investment in robotic systems was very high, however, it is projected that this investment will pay back within 3.5 to 5 years. It should not be forgotten that thanks to the robotic automation, the working conditions of the crew have significantly improved, as well as a very large technological leap not only in the field of welding, but also in other stages of production.”
www.metalfach.com.pl

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