Wielton implements major upgrading on welding line for bigger tipper bodies

Wielton, the Polish manufacturer of trailers and semi-trailers for trucks, has increased its production by sixfold in the past 15 years, partially also by the use of welding robot systems. In that period, Valk Welding delivered 18 welding robot systems. The most recent delivery consists of an upgrade of the largest installations (installed in 2005) for the welding of sidewall plates and bottom plates and complete tipper bodies to the newest technology. Mariusz Skupinski, manager of the robot programming department at Wielton, tells us how the welding robot technology of Valk Welding has contributed
to the realization of their ambition to expand.


15 years of successful collaboration between Wielton and Valk Welding

Until 2004, Wielton manufactured 2,000 to 3,000 trailers/products a year, without the use of robotisation. Based on the increasing demand for their trailers, Wielton wanted to double the production at that moment, partially by the use of welding robots. For this project, the whole traject of analysis, concepts, and quotations were run through with several European suppliers. The owner (at that time) of Wielton, Mr. Krzysztof Tylkowski, chose Valk Welding and stated in 2006 after first projects were realised: ‘’Valk Welding trusted and believed in the success of these investments from the beginning, and did not shy away from a collaboration with us.’’


In 2004, Valk Welding delivered the first welding robot systems. In the period after that, 16 more welding robot installations and multiple licences for the offline programming system DTPS followed. The welding robot installation is used for the welding of all possible components, from smaller subassemblies to complete chassis frames. The most impressive thing is the 45-meter long installation which Valk Welding delivered in 2005, with which all tipper bodies flat subassemblies can be welded, followed by XYZ system where complete tipper bodies are welded together in the special jig placed on 10 tons manipulator. All this „set” is called W5-line. Mariusz Skupinski: “Wielton was far ahead for that time with that concept, and realized a large capacity expansion with that.’’

Strong European expansion

The Wielton group expanded significantly in the past few years in the local factory in Wielun. Moreover, the group expanded its activities even more in Europe because of the takeover of multiple companies in the European market, among which the French trailer manufacturer Fruehauf, the German Langendorf, the Italian trailer manufacturers Viberti and Cardi and latest English company Lawrence David. The fast expansion made doubling the capacity of the W5-line in 2017 necessary.

"From the beginning, we were convinced that a project of this size would end in a successful result with Valk Welding.’’

Upgrade of the W5-line

The existing W5-line consisted of a welding robot installation with a length of 45 m for the welding of sidewalls and bottom plates and a 17 m XYZ installation for the welding of complete tipper bodies. After a thorough examination for a couple of months, it was decided to divide and extend the 45 m system into two identical installations of 27 m and to equip one of those with two new welding robots. The upgrade of the 17 m installation for the welding of complete tipper bodies was also part of the plan.

Supplier comparison

Mariusz Skupinski: “Based on the evaluation of the possibilities of competitors compared to the technology Valk Welding offers, Valk Welding’s solution was again chosen. The takeover of the other trailer companies where other solutions were installed, gave us the opportunity to compare. After a longer evaluation period of various methods and practical experience with the installations of other suppliers, we decided to continue the collaboration with Valk Welding. From the beginning, we were convinced that a project of this size would end in a successful result with Valk Welding.’’ The upgrade was realized in the first half of 2018.

Seam tracking for aluminum parts

‘’With the realization of the upgrade, we are on perfect way to achive our goal. The goal was stated as doubling the capacity of the W5 line on the same footprint. Today (Feb 2019) we are cca 8 months after upgrade was installed. Due to logistic issues around, we are not able to reach doubled production yet, but we are getting closer and closer. It is expected the goal will be reached during 2019. One of the most important things which made the capacity doubling possible is the use of the Valk Welding Arc-Eye laser sensor for welding seam following. With that, the problems with the
accuracy and the welding quality, especially with aluminum parts, was drastically eliminated. Our experience with the DTPS offline programming software also made it possible to start the upgraded line in the shortest amount of time,’’ Mariusz Skupinski continues. Jakub Vavrecka, Valk Welding responsible for Central and Eastern Europe operations: ‘’Valk
Welding is proud to be part of the success of Wielton. I am honored to say we grew up together. The current production of the Wielton group is already 18,000 products per year, which means the production has increased with a factor around 6 in the past 15 years. In the meantime, Valk Welding also delivered a complete chassis line with 8 robots to the French company Fruehauf, which now completely belongs to the Wielton group.’’

Wielton education at local technical school

In 2014, Wielton decided to open a special class at the local technical school. The class was completely supported by Wielton, with the idea to educate youth for their own activities. Valk Welding supported this activity with the delivery of a complete robot installation for educational purposes.

Valk Welding is proud to be part of the success of Wielton. I am honored to say we grew up together.

Jakub Vavrecka, Valk Welding responsible for Central and Eastern Europe operations

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