POLMOstrów produces a wide range of exhaust systems in small series
POLMOstrów produces and delivers exhaust systems and has been operating in this market for over 40 years. Production ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 units a day. That amounts to a steel consumption of 60 tons a day. "Our range comprises around 3,000 models and components", explains Marek Stefanski, engineering manager at POLMOstrów. "A broad range such as this means that you have to set up production for a large variation and small series. Quality and delivery times are of of highest importance to our clients. The procedures for reproducing the products and guaranteed delivery times are very sensitive aspects in the car industry.”
The skills of employees play a vital role. "It's now very difficult to find qualified personnel, especially welders", says Marek Stefanski, and continues: "Relying on the skills of employees involves a big risk. The repetition accuracy of the products is determined by the ability of the employee. Different employees take a different approach to the details, are slower than the robot and can't work every day of the week. That's why we started thinking about robot automation at an early stage."
Comprehensive selection procedure
There is no room for trial and error in the car industry, where the competition is always hot on your heels. The selection of a reliable supplier of industrial robots is therefore preceded by a comprehensive selection and test procedure. "The decision to robotise was taken when the company was employing about 600 people, of which 200 welders," says the engineering manager. "The choice of a welding robot system supplier was preceded by an indepth analysis of the technical options and the supplier's competencies. Welding exhaust mufflers involves thin-walled parts and short welds. After a number of successful tests carried out at the Valk Welding demo centre in the Czech Republic we decided to continue working with this robot integrator", says Marek Stefanski.