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It’s all in the welding

Sophisticated automation solutions, such as Pemamek’s heavy welding systems, are a valuable way for shipyards, companies producing towers for wind turbine installations, and other engineering businesses to improve their cost-effectiveness. Featuring a number of advanced new technologies, Pemamek’s systems are used in over 50 countries today.

Pemamek’s Vision Robot Welding Portal – or VRW P – is ideal for welding the large subassembly sections and flat panel stiffeners typical of modern shipbuilding, and uses a patented, programmable high-resolution machine vision system to identify items that need to be welded. All operators have to do is to approve the proposed movement tracks and welding routines, and let the robots get on with the job.

The horizontal motion track of both the welding robot and the high-resolution camera are mounted on a travelling welding gantry. Operation is normally fully automatic, although manual override is available if needed.

Thanks to their excellent uptime performance, user-friendly VRW P systems can raise the productivity of panel production lines significantly. The use of on-line programming, a unique feature in this type of equipment, shortens programming times dramatically and cuts costs, while the focus on real-life items rather than CAD models brings enhanced operational reliability. Welding quality is also excellent.

Shipyards in Croatia, Finland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and elsewhere are among those benefiting from the VRW P advantage today.

PEMA HTMLS lines are typical of the world-class welding automation on offer from Pemamek. They reduce assembling and welding times significantly when manufacturing the towers used in wind power installations.

Handling things just right

Manufacturing the tall steel towers used in wind power installations is a tough challenge for traditional manufacturing techniques, for a variety of reasons.

The conical sections several metres long used in these structures are not well-suited to the normal roller beds used to rotate items during welding, for example. Recognising this problem, Pemamek has developed special TAW roller beds equipped with high-strength PU rollers.

The weight of these heavy sections also often results in them becoming deformed while awaiting assembly. Welding them together becomes extremely difficult and time-consuming when this happens. A dedicated Pemamek assembly line eliminates this problem, however. A unique head and tailstock system is employed to move sections close to each other, while a special hydraulic adjusting jig forces the edges into the correct shape for welding.

PEMA HTMLS lines reduce assembly and welding times significantly compared to traditional techniques, and wind tower automation solutions have been delivered to a number of manufacturers in Asia, Europe, and North America.

> Jukka Rantala
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)