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a publication of Valk Welding

9th year - 2009 - no 1

Valk mailing

Valk Welding France Atlantique opens in Western France Also in this issue: • Replacement programme makes investment in the latest welding robot technology an attractive option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 • Options for Tawers welding robot for aluminium further extended . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 • Demo, training and service for East European market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Crucial parts safely stored in new depot . . . 3 • Bollegraaf switches with welding robot cell to single-article production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 • Faymonville installs Panasonic manual welding machines throughout organisation 5 • Combined arc/stud welding robot for VDL . 5 • Joskin raises productivity with latest welding robot technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7 • Marko installs fourth generation welding robot system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 • Fabrice Lefèvre, pivot between a French client and the Valk Welding organisation . . . 8

The official opening of Valk Welding France Atlantique on 15 May means that Valk Welding has now extended its activities to Western France. Under this name Valk Welding in Saint-Nazaire, with four French-speaking specialists, will be actively entering the market in the western region of France with demos, sales and service for welding robots and the sale of welding accessories. The welding accessories of Valk Welding are kept in Saint-Nazaire, where a number of welding robot systems are permanently set up for demonstrations of both Panasonic and Fanuc robots. Valk Welding has already been selling and installing welding robot systems in the north of France for a number of years. Valk Welding has now delivered more than sixty welding robot systems to local French companies in that area, as well as to international companies including Bosal, Thule, CNH, Dhollandia and Mecanorem. Valk Welding is setting out to increase its sales of welding robot systems in France by working in close partnership with local specialists. The official opening was conducted by Remco H. Valk (CEO Valk Welding Group), Michel Devos (sales manager Valk Welding France) and Olivier Moyon, Romuald Thomère, Etienne Menard, partners Valk Welding France Atlantique.

© Valk Welding BV, 2009 Alle rights reserved.

Replacement programme makes investment in the latest welding robot technology an attractive option Owing to the long life span of the Panasonic welding robots, more than 400 hundred of them of the older generations AW and VR (until 1992) are still in operation. That makes these welding robots 17 years or older. The chance of sudden production downtime will increase because it is becoming more difficult to supply components for these robots.

Aged welding robots make way for the latest generation


In close partnership with Panasonic Welding Systems, Valk Welding has created a unique replacement programme for this purpose. That makes it possible for clients to replace their old welding robots for a welding robot of the latest TAWERS generation under highly favourable conditions. That will secure production continuity and these clients will be given an attractive option for taking advantage of the latest technology.

• High welding quality • High productivity • Lower operating costs • Fast acceleration and movement speeds (up to 180 m/min) • Easy to operate and programme • Very strong controller/controls • Welding data registration and monitoring • Broad range of standard welding software and functionalities • Several welding processes (MIG, MAG, TIG) with a single machine • Collision detection • Unique wire feed system • Offline programming • Working range from 1400 and 1800 mm ø • Flexibly extendible with standard components

Valk Welding with Panasonic Tawers at Schweissen und Schneiden


Options for Tawers welding robot for aluminium further extended

Integrating the robot and the welding machine in a single control system makes it possible to speed up data processing by 250%. That facilitates the development of new software functionalities, which in turn makes it possible to increasingly extend the use of the Panasonic TAWERS arc welding

robots. The TAWERS is available with a broad range of standard welding software and functionalities, such as ‘Automatic Start Retry’, ‘Arc Start Lift’, ‘Arc End Lift’ and welding data registration. ‘Spiral Weaving’ and ‘Synchro Puls’ are the latest software functionalities. Spiral Weaving for thin walled aluminium ‘Spiral Weaving’ involves building up the weld step by step in order to avoid excessively annealing and deforming the material. The weld is built up with alternating parameters. The extremely fast data processing in the control makes it possible to change the parameter settings at high frequency when the welding machine makes circular movements. Welding various aluminium thicknesses Another new function is what is known as ‘Synchro Pulse’. This software facilitates the synchronisation of an alternating weld parameter with a pendulum movement, which makes it possible to effectively weld

aluminium of various thicknesses with the right heat application and annealing of both materials. See also the video at: www.

Spiral Weaving

With the integration of robot and welding machine in a single control system, Panasonic has placed a unique arc welding robot on the market that raises the quality and speed of the welding process to a higher level in the form of the TAWERS. New features include ‘Spiral Weaving’ and ‘Synchro Puls’, with which Panasonic has substantially broadened the use of these arc welding robots for the MIG welding of aluminium.

Synchro Puls


Best in class welding robots The Panasonic TAWERS welding robots are the only systems in which the welding unit and the welding robot are integrated in a single control system. That places these robots in the ‘best of class’ welding robots for arc welding applications:

Demo, training and service for East European market Based at new facility for Valk Welding Czech Republic Following the opening of a new location by the Danish location of Valk Welding in October 2008 and the opening of Valk Welding France Atlantique this spring, the Czech location has also moved into larger premises. From its new location close to Ostrava Airport, Valk Welding CZ s.r.o. will be serving the entire region in and around the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia with training, demos, training and service. At the new location Valk Welding CZ s.r.o. has comprehensive facilities that it can use to continue to extend its service. As well as the provision of basic training courses to existing and new robot customers, Valk Welding CZ s.r.o. in Mosnov will also be providing demonstrations and test setups for robot applications. Additionally, a select range of welding consumables will be kept in stock for regional clients. Since its foundation in mid-2004 Valk Welding CZ s.r.o. has sold more than a hundred Panasonic robot systems to East European companies engaged with trailer construction, the car industry and general suppliers.

Crucial parts safely stored in new depot Owing to strong growth in the sale of welding consumables and components Valk Welding has outgrown its storage depot in Alblasserdam, so a new depot was recently taken into use at a different location. As well as offering more capacity and options for further expansion, it was also possible to take a step towards the fire-protected storage of crucial components such as printed circuit boards and other specific Panasonic welding robot components. The delivery times for specific parts such as these are usually long. Keeping them in stock makes it possible for Valk Welding to minimise downtime if clients are affected by breakdowns.

Warehouse manager Ad Hempenius has therefore opted for a solution in the form of a paternoster system. This system offers a very large storage capacity with limited floor space. The components can be retrieved by article number, and are presented at operating height. That makes it possible to collect the desired components quickly and ergonomically. An added advantage is that the storage system can be closed after working hours, so that all components are properly

protected against fire and damage. Together with assistant Hans Verhoeff, Ad Hempenius prepares dozens of orders for welding consumables for consignment every day at this depot. As well as complete Speedglas welding masks and 3M safety products, stocks are also kept here of cables, torch components and all components for Wire Wizard wire feed systems. The high turnaround speeds and the depot manning make it possible to consign most orders on the same day.




Valk Welding has now installed more than 1,650 robots in European countries and beyond. With its head office in the Netherlands and independent locations in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium and France, Valk Welding is planning to grow as a European system integrator and sales organisation for welding consumables.

Joskin raises productivity w welding robot techn Joskin, which manufactures vehicles for manure spreading and agricultural transport systems, has in recent years invested substantially in increasing its capacity and modernising its welding department. Seven welding robot systems have now been put into operation at the production facility in Soumagne, close to Luik, and there are more to come. Joskin has thus succeeded not only in sharply raising productivity, but also in achieving a higher and more consistent level of quality. Joskin has opted for the latest welding robot technology of the Panasonic TAWERS welding robots and the DTPS G2 offline programming system.




Detail of special jigs for welding hydraulic cylinders

Employing more than 650 people and with locations in Belgium, France and Poland, Joskin is currently one of Europe’s biggest agricultural vehicle producers. The company’s growth gained momentum as a result of a number of successful products for which Joskin produces all of the parts under its own management. The company has trebled its turnover since opening production facilities in France and Poland. Initially tired of robots It will go without saying that a company of this size started using welding robots at an early stage. But Joskin had never succeeded in achieving the desired result with them. Production manager Didier Joskin explains the reasons for that: “The operator was spending more time on programming and optimising the robots than on production. We also had a lot of calibration problems, and were unable to weld a number of products. That led to serious delays in the cycle times, and ultimately resulted in poor productivity levels. Until recently we were pretty tired of robots. We even considered switching to manual welding at our locations in Belgium and Poland.” Valk Welding convinced Without much hope, in the summer of 2006 Joskin asked a number of suppliers to make

Didier Joskin

a proposal mainly aimed at achieving a rise in productivity and flexibility and improving the quality of the products for which welding robots were used. Didier Joskin: As a test object, we gave them a hydraulic cylinder, the product we have had the most trouble with. Based on sound preparations, Valk Welding delivered a perfect product and managed to put forward convincing arguments both on the technical front and at company level with its facilities in Alblasserdam. It also became clear that the two companies had more in common than apparent at first glance: a strong family firm character with enthusiastic personnel, a leading market position with a technically cutting edge product and strong growth combined with a healthy outlook.

with the robotised welding of its hydraulic cylinders. The success of this product was therefore an important factor in Joskin’s decision on whether to continue with robot welding. Peter Pittomvils, Valk Welding’s technical consultant: “Joskin makes all of the hydraulic cylinders for its vehicles under its own management. If you look at Joskin’s wide range of products, that will give you an impression of the numbers. That meant that robot welding would have benefits. The main problem was found in welding the nipple on the cylinder. The strong concentration of heat on a small area made it impossible to make the cylinder optimally round. We managed to achieve that on the basis of our expertise and by using the new SP-MAG welding process.”

We decided to put the new Valk Welding system into operation as a pilot. After that, everything moved very quickly. The quality was perfect, the productivity rate was 25% to 50% higher, we had no malfunctions, and the setup time turned out to be many times shorter than what we were accustomed to. That prompted our decision to replace all six existing welding robots with Panasonic TAWERS welding robots.”

Standard systems for sub-assemblies Of the seven welding robots that Valk Welding has supplied to Joskin, the first four are based on an H-frame concept with two clamping tables, a manipulator and high speed doors. Joskin used this relatively simple setup for welding small parts and sub-assemblies. To have a welding robot operate several clamping tables, a fifth cell was fitted with a robot on a longitudinal travel. This setup made it possible to achieve a long activation period for the welding robot. The work pieces were clamped and taken out while the robot

Hydraulic cylinders Joskin was experiencing the most problems

Offline programming Offline programming contributes significantly to the productivity gains of the TAWERS welding robots. Valk Welding has been successfully using the programming

and simulation system DTPS G2, which it had a hand in developing, for more than ten years. That gives the robot operator control over the entire welding production process, and also makes it possible for him to prepare welding programmes outside of production. That not only yields a higher welding robot activation level, but also facilitates a high level of flexibility. For that reason, it is no longer the size of the series that determines whether profitable use can be made of welding robots.

been put together at Valk Welding in Alblasserdam. Didier Joskin: “The technology is already there, as are the internal logistics. The problem is building the right jigs. With this new welding robot cell we plan to welding 6 dumper trucks a day in 1.5 shifts.”

Total solution partner Joskin was aware that outstanding quality and a fault-free supply of welding wire were vital to achieving maximum output. That is why Joskin performed tests - free of obligation - with Valk Welding’s solid welding wire in Ecodrums. Much to Joskin’s surprise, as well as the spat-free end result the wire feed with this welding wire was entirely faultless. The price and production benefits were reason enough for Joskin to switch all of its robots to Valk Welding’s welding wire. Also, with Valk Welding as a “Total Solution Partner”, Joskin only has to deal with a single point of contact. As well as the welding wire, Panasonic welding machines and the company consumables have now been put into operation too. Complete welding of dumper trucks Now that Joskin has acquired a taste for robot welding, it has moved on to the welding of larger work pieces. Joskin will be welding complete tipping units for its dumper trucks using the next welding cell, which has now

3D simulation in DTPS G2 of the welding robot cell under construction, that Joskin plans to use to weld complete dumper trucks

Credit crisis presents new opportunities By using the new welding robot cells Joskin has succeeded in substantially increasing productivity without employing extra people. Didier Joskin: “Which is just as well, as those extra people are difficult to find in our region. The high production rates have made it possible for us to reduce delivery times. The reduced number of orders caused by the credit crisis is creating more gaps in production and in the organisation. At last we now have time to turn our attention to new markets. We currently have a presence with our products in more than 30 countries, and we are extending our network to Eastern Europe. We are also increasing our marketing efforts to strengthen our position in the countries in which we already operate.” Continued investment in welding robot technology Didier Joskin: “Our outlook is good despite the somewhat weaker economic conditions. We plan to continue to invest in welding robots in order to keep pace with the anticipated growth in turnover. We will soon be delivering our 24,000th tank and the 7,000th dumper truck.

Dominique Talmasse (r), robot programmer at Joskin and Peter Pittomvils, sales manager Belgium of Valk Welding


Latest generation of welding robots For the new welding robot cells, Valk Welding has deployed the latest generation of Panasonic’s TAWERS welding robots. With this robot, which has been purpose built for arc welding, the welding machine and the robot are integrated in a single control system. The extremely high communication speeds that this achieves make the TAWERS the most advanced and fast welding robot on the market. Didier Joskin: “The TAWERS welding robot is a typically advanced top quality Japanese product, with a high level of reliability and which is easy to programme. The welding current source is unique, and facilitates many software functionalities, including a spat-free welding process and integrated welding data registration. The collision detector is especially important to us. In the event of a collision the welding robot switches to soft–servo, which makes the robot arm ‘pliant’, so that no damage can be caused to the torch or robot arm, and does away with the need to recalibrate.”

Robot programmer Dominique Talmasse working on the welding program for welding complete dumper trucks in DTPS G2


was welding at another station. A further two standard cells have recently been added. Didier Joskin: “By using seven cells we’ve succeeded in making more products with one less shift and have fully integrated all of the welding work. This has also given us a guarantee of extra capacity in the future.”

Standard welding robot cell with two clamping tables and high speed door


with latest nology

The huge welding robot system that Valk Welding has built for Bollegraaf Recycling Machinery in Appingedam forms part of a sizeable investment programme intended to double the production of bale presses within 2 years. Bollegraaf is thus anticipating strong growth in the market for environmental and recycling technology. As well as the welding robot system, the DTPS G2 offline programme system and Valk Welding’s Wire Wizard wire feed system, the investment programme also covers a cutting line and a heavy-duty bending robot. That will make it possible for the company to sharply reduce its lead times and to flexibly produce single articles.




Bollegraaf switches with welding robot cell to single-article production The welding robot system has a longitudinal movement of 33 metres with three transverse movements of 3 metres, combined with a height movement of 1.9 metres. The three Panasonic TA1900-WG welding robots are suspended on the height movement. The work pieces are positioned by 2 manipulators with bearing capacities of 6 and 25 tons. On the heaviest manipulator, complete bale press frames are simultaneously welded by 2 robots. The stamps and large valves for the compression section of the Bollegraaf bale presses are made at the second clamping area. All three robots can work at the same time, and the manipulators can even be steered individually. That means that a total of 27 shafts can be steered separately. Masterpiece With the 27 individually steered shafts this project makes full use of the functionalities of the offline programme system DTPS G2. The safety zones are of great importance because the three welding robots must not get in each other’s way. For the head of production, Bram Bos, offline programming was one of the most important preconditions: “We wanted to weld complete frames and also to be able to programme them entirely offline. With that aim in mind our preparations included taking a close look at

various shipbuilding and trailer construction projects throughout Europe. Valk Welding was the only robot integrator that had previously delivered such a heavy system, including one to the Polish trailer building Wielton. The decisive factor was the fact that Valk Welding is an organisation with high level technical knowledge of both robotics and welding.” Action plan “Getting a project such as this off the ground is by no means an everyday event, either for the supplier or for us. Implementing a system like this involves a completely different working method, which has to be supported by all departments. Also, it was necessary to create the right mindset for programming for single article production. For that reason we created a large project team, comprising 6 people from Bollegraaf and 5 from Valk Welding. That means that R&D, engineering and production people were closely involved in the completion of this project. At the same time a number of employees were trained in programming”, explains Bram Bos. Sharp reduction in lead times As well as the benefits of a high repetition precision, business-economic considerations were of great importance to Bollegraaf’s decision to give this automation operation

the green light. Bollegraaf’s welders needed a total of 2 weeks (including finishing) to manually weld frames for the bale presses with 3 layer angle welds. The deployment of 2 welding robots reduced the cycle time for a complete frame to 21 hours. Not only has that given Bollegraaf a substantial saving on wage costs, the shorter lead times mean that it is no longer necessary to produce stock parts. That fully meets the objective of raising flexibility and reducing stocks to zero. Thick plate software The frames for Bollegraaf’s bale presses are built up with 30mm steel plate. Most of the welding is carried out with angle welds in three layers with 1.2 mm solid SG2 wire in A15 welding height. The use of Thick Plate software makes it possible to automatically build up all layers with a robot program that only traces the first layer, and fast access macros are used to quickly and easily ascertain the tolerance in the product. Bollegraaf Recycling Machinery manufactures products including bale presses for waste paper and systems for processing industrial and domestic waste.

Faymonville installs Panasonic manual welding machines throughout organisation ding power source and the wire drive unit, which in some cases exceeds a length of 12 metres.

Valk Welding has recently supplied a combined arc/stud welding system to the VDL Group. The system is used to weld products for the car industry. Products for this sector must be delivered absolutely free of defects. The attachment of components using the stud welding method therefore has to be carried out fully automatically at all times. To be completely certain that these studs have actually been attached, the studs are welded onto the product by the robot. To have the arc welding and the stud welding carried out fully automatically with a single

robot the Panasonic arc welding robot is equipped with a Schunk tool changer. That makes it possible for the robot to alternative fully automatically between the standard arc welding torch and the stud welding torch of Thomas Welding. The stud welding head is equipped with a fully automatic feed that positions the studs in the head. The application of this special combination is the result of years of successful partnership between the VDL Group and Valk Welding, and has led to a high degree of automation in several welding processes. This system is the seventh arc welding robot that Valk Welding has installed within the VDL Group. See the video at: video_en_6.html


Combined arc/stud welding robot for VDL


Faymonville has entered into a service contract with Valk Welding, under which a unit price per year is paid for service and maintenance and the replacement of components. This service contract has been taken out for a 10-year period, after which it can be renewed for 2-year periods for each welding power source. This service contract makes it possible for Faymonville to schedule the maintenance and overhaul costs for all of the organisation’s welding equipment. Faymonville employs some 640 people. Faymonville is now also using 4 welding robot systems.


Bollegraaf Recycling Machinery manufactures products including bale presses for waste paper and systems for processing industrial and domestic waste

The company Faymonville, the Benelux region’s biggest manufacturer of semi-trailers for special transport, has equipped all of its production units with Panasonic manual welding power sources. Valk Welding has supplied the company with 250 manual welding machines over the past two years. Faymonville uses these manual welding power sources to completely weld heavy structural sections with lengths up to 18 metres. The manual welding stations at Faymonville are also equipped with Wire Wizard welding wire feed systems in order to smoothly bridge the distance between the wel-

Trade Fairs and Events Vision & Robotics Nieuwegein, The Netherlands

16-17 June 2009 Schweissen und Schneiden Essen, Germany

14.-19 September 2009

Marko installs fourth generation welding robot system In spring of this year furniture producer Marko BV put a new, advanced welding robot system into operation at its production facility in Veendam. The welding robot system represents the company’s fourth generation of welding robots. Marko was leading the way in the robotised welding of steel office and school furniture as far back as in the nineteen-eighties. The investment in a Panasonic Tawers welding robot on a longitudinal movement and with 8 work stations has provided Marko with the last word in welding robot technology. Marko is thus setting out to guarantee its product quality and production efficiency in the years to come.

Higher capacity utilisation level The ample number of work stations makes it possible to limit the number of tool changes, which leads to increased in productivity and flexibility. That has increased the capacity utilisation level compared to the previous system. The DTPS G2 offline programming system makes it possible to convert the programs of the older robots for the new robot system. Also, new products can be programmed offline and are easy to transfer or copy to other work stations. Marko achieves 80% of its turnover with school furniture and sets out to compete with its products mainly on quality. With this strategy the company has succeeded in gaining a leading market position in the Benelux region.

Video Archive Want to see how it works? Watch the videos of current robot projects at:

Brno, Czech Republic

14-18 September 2009 Metavak Gorinchem, The Netherlands

10-12 November 2009


Colophon ‘Valk Mailing’ is a twice-yearly publication of Valk Welding B.V. and is sent free to all business relations. If you want to receive this publication in the future, please send an email to The Netherlands: Valk Welding B.V. Staalindustrieweg 15 P.O. Box 60 2950 AB Alblasserdam Tel. +31 78 69 170 11 Fax +31 78 69 195 15

Fabrice Lefèvre, pivot between French clients and the Valk Welding organisation Fabrice Lefèvre is To overcome language barriers between French-speaking clients and the Dutch Valk Welding organisation, telephone calls from France are first put directly through to our French-speaking office worker, Fabrice Lefèvre. The need to communicate in French with the Dutch head office of Valk Welding had come about owing to the growth in the number of French-speaking clients and the extension of the sales activities caused by the incorporation of Valk Welding France Atlantique.

Eurowelding – MSV 2009

a Frenchman who has lived for more than 25 years in the Netherlands, and has worked at Valk Welding in Alblasserdam since February of this year. Fabrice has a technical background in the bodywork sector and has broad knowledge of welding technology, which ideally places him to give clients an optimum service for both technical and administrative issues. He thus forms the pivot between French-speaking clients and the Dutch Valk Welding organisation, and supports the field service staff of Valk Welding France and Valk Welding France Atlantique.

Belgium: Tel : +32 (0)3 685 14 77 Fax : +32 (0)3 685 12 33 France: Valk Welding France Tel. +33 (0)3 20 10 00 39 Fax +33 (0)3 20 10 01 12 Denmark: Valk Welding DK A\S

Tel +45 64421201 Fax +45 64421202 Czech Republic:

Valk Welding CZ s.r.o. Tel: +420 556 73 0954 Fax: +420 556 73 1680 Production: Steenkist Communicatie, NL-Haarlem Photography: Valk Welding B.V.

Erik Steenkist, Marko bv, Bollegraaf

2009-01-Valk Mailing-EN  
2009-01-Valk Mailing-EN  

Valk Welding is a trend-setting supplier of products and services in the field of industrial robotics and welding techniques. Based on its...