Those who claim that the high wages in the Netherlands leave no room for the manufacturing industry, AWL proves wrong. For major players in the fittings market, AWL has realized several highly-automated production lines for the production of steel and stainless steel fittings. A high level of automation, in combination with excellent weld quality, ensures a fast lead time and high quality fittings.
Fittings are often made up of two parts that are welded together, and for this, laser welding is the ideal process. The visual quality is of a very high standard and also the process continuity ensures a good output of your machine. Because these fittings have fewer loose components, there are several advantages: lower costs, faster assembly, less installation space required and a better design. Because these fittings must be resistant to high pressure, high demands are placed on the weld quality. AWL has years of experience with welding machines and can guarantee this high weld quality.
Automating your fittings production may consist of several stations. AWL has solutions for feeding in the products, consider for example bin picking. We are also able to integrate other process steps seamlessly. An example of this is washing and testing the parts.
The biggest challenge of this automation is in dealing with the many variations in diameter and the method used for welding the product. Here, AWL offers the required flexibility using smart robot solutions. In the laser welding station, the parts are loaded automatically into the welding jigs and welded with a laser. The welding jigs are designed so that the part can be rotated in the jig. The welding robot moves the welding jig under a permanently mounted welding optic and rotates the product during the welding. While one robot is welding, a welded product is taken out of the other robot and re-loaded. This creates very high efficiency with optimum flexibility. Each product variant requires a different welding position, and with this solution that is possible with a single jig. To transport the parts between each station, it is possible to install conveyor functionality where specific carriers provide transport between the stations. The carriers are equipped with smart shape pick-up points, which can carry multiple diameter variations.
For the loading of single parts, it is possible to make use of bin picking. The parts are removed from the crate by a robot gripper with a 3D camera, and then oriented by a second robot and positioned on a carrier. The great advantage of this solution is that the system is very flexible in handling all product variants. For example, you hardly need any change parts at the changeover between different diameters.
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