Welding aluminium sidewalls
Brendan McIlvanna, Managing Director of bmi trailers, saw the biggest challenge in robot welding was with the aluminium sidewalls.
“Due to the expansion of aluminium as a result of the heat input, the position of the weld seam occurs during the welding operation,” he said. “A manual welder can correct this instinctively, but each welder does so in his own way. The result is therefore never consistent.”
During a visit to the Dutch trade fair ‘Metavak’, the bmi team presented the demand for an automation solution to a number of robot suppliers.
“Only Valk Welding could help us further in this and that was the beginning of a good collaboration,” McIlvanna said.
Welding seam tracking
With the laser-controlled Arc-Eye welding seam tracking system, Valk Welding has proven to be able to weld the welds in aluminium assemblies with the robot exactly and with high quality consistency. The concept for a welding robot system for bmi trailers consisted next to a TM1400 WG3 welding robot on a longitudinal movement of 30 meters, also an Arc-Eye CSS laser camera and integrated welding fume extraction.
Eventually, bmi trailers commissioned Valk Welding to also create the programs for different products in order to be able to start production as soon as possible. Prior to commissioning, some of the bmi team had completed the robot and programming training at Valk Welding in Alblasserdam to help them to master all the details of this software.