Up until now the modules were welded manually. Not including assembly and preattachment, the modules were welded in 6 ¾ hours in welding boxes. Louis: "The modules were clamped in a frame and in a turntable.
After a number of welds the modules were manually positioned to balance the heat input as effectively as possible. That's what took most of the time. Also, after manually welding the modules had to be corrected for straightness. The robot welding system we've bought doesn't weld more quickly, but the time gains are found mainly in the automatic module handling.
"Our main requirement was for the welding robot system to be usable for all of the modules we manufacture here. That means that it must be possible to position both the small module of 2.5 x 2.5 m and the 2.5 x 5
m. The investment was therefore not for just one project, but an investment in producing more efficient at a lower cost price. The welding robot also had to be able to reach both sides of the modules. This is what we asked
Valk Welding for. The idea was for them to deliver the complete system, including offline programming and measurement system. The clamping system and the load/unload system for the modules was designed and supplied by VDL Bus Chassis itself," says Louis de Jong.