Fortaco is experiencing the advantages of Valk Welding Technology in Heavy Welding Applications

In the off-highway industry, the use of robots in welding production is pretty much a necessary requirement to be able to meet this sector's high quality and safety requirements. Fortaco JL, the Polish plant of the Fortaco Group in Janów Lubelski, which mainly produces parts for excavators, already has several years of experience with welding robotization but ran into the limitations of online programming and problems with locating welding seams on their present robot systems. Development Project Manager Krzysztof Jaroszyński, and Engineering & Technology Manager Maciej Złomański explain how Valk Welding's technology helped. "Valk Welding has proven itself as a strong and reliable supplier of welding robots and technology partner."

Fortaco JL

The Fortaco Group is a leading brand-independent strategic partner (Tier 1 supplier) for the heavy off-highway industry and maritime sectors. Fortaco Group serves these sectors with the production and assembly of cabins and the supply of welding assemblies. With 7 branches in Europe, 2,600 employees and more than 50 welding robots in use, this Finnish group processes 80,000 metric tons of steel per year.

Introduction to robotic welding automation

“With the deployment of a welding robot from another location, we at Fortaco JL were first introduced to welding robot automation in 2014. As always with the introduction of a new technology, that was a major challenge, but the support of Fortaco Wroclaw, which already had 8 robots, helped us overcome that. With the installation, configured for a number of customer-specific products, we were able to double the output for those products and increase the quality and repeatability. This positive experience was a good reason for us to start welding other products using robots. For this, we had approached various suppliers, including Valk Welding. "We were not yet familiar with their technology at the time,” Jaroszyński explains.

Programming and welding seam location bottleneck

“The search and arc welding functions of our previous welding robot installation were not reliable, and the results were not satisfactory. A properly functioning weld seam search system was, therefore, the first requirement. We also wanted to get rid of online programming, because it caused the welding robot to be unavailable for production for several hours or even a number of days. Programming for the implementation of new products or optimizing the program took so much time that we constantly had to interrupt the planning and work weekend overtime,” continues Jaroszyński.

“Hardware and software are 100% integrated at Panasonic and developed specifically for the welding process."

Maciej Złomański

Hard-and software fully integrated

Maciej Złomański, Manager engineering and technology: “Offline programming would, therefore, be a better solution. Our requirement was that the offline software had to be fully integrated into the hardware and have a modern and user-friendly interface. Panasonic fully meets these requirements with its welding robots and DTPS software. Both the robot and the software are specifically designed for welding applications, while other solutions are usually based on universal applications with added welding modules. "

Thickplate welding

“Because of our high product specifications for welding thick plates, we have particularly searched for a suitable solution in this area. Valk Welding offered the best solution with the "Thickplate welding" option in the DTPS off-line programming software. "Thickplate welding" makes it possible to apply multi-layer welding technology very easily, without having to program each layer separately. Of all potential welding robot integrators, we have chosen to conduct a full-scale test phase with Valk Welding only. The welding tests with thickplate welding were performed at the Valk Welding technical center in the Czech Republic. “Based on these tests, we were able to evaluate the results of thickplate welding, the welding quality and the accessibility of the robot arm and welding torch in narrow operational areas within the simulated configuration. In addition, together with Valk Welding, we also made a reference trip to Wielton, one of the largest trailer builders in Europe. This manufacturer has a long history of collaboration with Valk Welding and their feedback was essential for us."

Two different robotic welding concepts

We made a selection of the most "robot-friendly" products, the quality requirements and requested quantities, and have opted for two different concepts with separate workstations, each being developed for a specific group of products.
The first is an welding robot installation with a Panasonic welding robot hanging from a movable gallows’ construction for long products on 1 workstation with a 1-axis positioner.
The second is an welding robot installation with a standing robot on a shifter with two separate workstations, one with a double-axis workpiece manipulator.


In addition to the Valk Welding DTPS offline programming system, offers several options. “We also perform simulations in
DTPS to check the accessibility of the welding robot and welding torch inside the workpiece beforehand. Another aspect
for which we use DTPS is the preparation of proposals for our customers. In DTPS we can prepare very detailed and accurate simulations and draw up a reliable quotation based on that. In addition, thanks to this possibility, we can advise our customers early on to optimize their designs for robot welding.


“During the development phase, we worked closely with Valk Welding. The collaboration was intense and at a high technological level. We felt that we not just worked with a robot supplier, but more with a highly skilled technology partner with strong proven experience in the field of welding. We are now working together on developing subsequent welding robot installations and tackling other technological challenges,” concludes Krzysztof Jaroszyński.

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