Robots in action can be found everywhere. Robot Manufacturers give examples of robot applications in different industries.
Valk Welding, Netherlands - IFR-Partner
CAM and vision for steel constructions
Voortman and Valk Welding are working together on the design of a fully automated system for flexible production of steel construction. The aim is to have the first system up and running in the third quarter of 2010. This system should be capable to assemble, position and completely weld steel structures without any human interference.
Voortman and Valk Welding are working already together for a longer period on the integration of cutting robots which are used by Voortman in production lines / beam copiers. The development for a system for automated / robotized assembly of steel structures is a perfect match to the existing systems.
For this application both handling as well as welding robots will be used in order to get an optimal quality. The main focus of this system is the development of a software functionality which will convert all CAD data to an all-controlling CAM file in which not only position but also tolerances as well as quality of the weld will be registered. For the positioning of the loose components, Vision systems will be installed using interaction between the Vision system and the robots (both handling as well as welding).
Similar initiatives have been started, but according to both partners in this project, never resulted in a functional and operational system. Both companies are convinced that this ambitious project will only be successful based on the experiences from both Voortman as well as Valk Welding in manipulating, handling and producing steel constructions. Both Voortman as well as Valk Welding are putting maximum effort into new software developments which is created by an intense cooperation between the software departments from both companies.
Both CEO's and Remco Valk have chosen this period to start this project due to the fact that steel structures are getting more and more complex, based on the ongoing improvements and developments on 3D CAD usage in steel structures. This is asking for a higher degree of freedom for steel structures and total assemblies. The secondary issue is the shortage of manual welders.
Shortage of welders
Up till now the shortage of welders could be solved by hiring welders from Eastern Europe, however the majority of them has already or will move back to Eastern Europe shortly. Simultaneously the aging of the population is causing a natural shortage of welders too, which will result in a catastrophic capacity problem when the demand on the market of steel structures will increase again. Next to the above described advantages, new evolving markets will also have demand for this new development.