50th anniversary Valk Welding Belgium.
In 2015 Valk Welding Belgium celebrates its 50th anniversary. In 1965, the corporation of ‘LAS Verkoopmaatschappij’ (later changed into Valk Welding) was founded in Belgium. Now 50 years later Valk Welding is a well-known company in Belgium when it comes to robot integration and consumables for the welding industry.
Branchemanager Peter Pittomvils:
The first of December is the day that Valk Welding started in Belgium 50 years ago. As a market leader in the field of flexible robotic welding systems and established value in delivering consumables such as welding wire and related welding equipment the complete team is tremendously proud of this fact. Within our market we are unique.
To get at the top is a nice performance, but further improving is our mission. We do this by continuing to innovate so that we can offer the Belgium industry better solutions and service. The new developments that are upcoming are promising. And I can already say that at the end of 2015 we will come up with a ground-breaking development onto the market.
A celebration like this cannot go unnoticed. Make sure you mark the 21 of October on your calendar. We could not think of a better location and time than the Welding Week in Antwerp to celebrate this special moment together with you. So we like to welcome you and looking forward seeing you!
Smart industry robot solutions
Valk Welding has been active for more than 2 decades in delivering welding robots which are more responsive to the demand for flexible production automation in the manufacturing industry.
The development of software-based solutions and applications of intelligent laser sensors made it even possible to use welding robots for batch size 1. This means that ‘single piece flow production’ and ‘mass customizing’ are possible. Behind the scenes Valk Welding is working on even more ‘Smart Industry Robot Solutions’.
The offline programming system DTPS has been the start in the nineties for a flexible deployment of Valk Welding Welding robots and the development of new software modules to further shorten the programming process. The development of APG (Automatic Path Generator) has been initiated as the next step in ‘Smart Robot Industry Solutions’.
Based on 3D CAD files and data from ERP the APG software automatically generates programs for the welding robot which next to the positioning of the welding torch, also contains the torch angle, and the right parameters such as voltage, weaving parameters, crater filling parameters, etc. Unique is that the user can integrate it into his own welding strategy.
Companies like Van Hool (truck and bus construction), Auping (beds), Thyssenkrupp Encasa (stairs) and Profielnorm (mezzanines) have thus the entire programming process for the welding robots automated and thereby realized a one piece flow production. Adriaan Broere: “Mass customization with batch size 1 on the welding robot is made possible”.
One of the achievements of the deployment of APG in the production of customized products, is that companies have been able to switch to an order-driven production and can further shorten their delivery times. "
Meanwhile behind the scenes Valk Welding works intensively on further ‘Smart Industry Robot Solutions’ to make further flexibility of the welding automation possible.
- Automatic program selection with the use of barcodes and RF-ID’s.
- Automatic selection of the jig by a handling robot and the use of AGV’s, which is an integrated part of the logistics chain in the production.
- Robots give more and more real-time feedback via Ethernet interfaces, so that we are able to capture the programmed paths as well as the actual travelled paths including the associated welding parameters. This provides new opportunities to monitor the weld quality and quickly intervene if something goes otherwise than planned, even with a very small production volume. (Normally, you had a larger series with lots of opportunities to adjust things by simply repeating the same trick but this is impossible if you produce a small series or even a single piece.)
- Seam tracking systems with laser sensors, such as the Arc-Eye from Valk Welding makes welding robots smarter and can absorb more defects, which guarantees a higher weld quality.
- Increasing in service diagnostics, allowing welding robots to be preventively serviced in time, or allowing the logistics department to receive a signal that there is almost a new wire drum required. The robot itself can also do a service request via email, SMS, etc.
Terms and conditions for unmanned programming is that programs can be acquired directly by the robot 1: 1 and do not need to be corrected. Adriaan Broere: ‘Our calibrated welding robot systems together with the Seam tracking systems are excellent for that’.
300th welding robot on H-Frame
Twelve years after the delivery of the first welding robot on an H- frame, Valk Welding has delivered the 300th installation this year, based on this successful concept.
With the development of a welding robot, mounted on a H frame, Valk Welding was the first robot integrator who introduced such a concept. The concept, that later also became an alternative in the form of an E- frame setup, since then has been tried to copy by multiple robot integrators, however not reaching the same performance level .
A welding robot on a fixed frame has the advantage that both welding robot, control-unit, positioners and safety fences are mounted as complete configuration and can be installed at the end user within a couple of hours. That does not only provides the advantage of a short assembly time at the customer, but also offers the possibility to move the cell at a later time and take into use again directly without correcting existing programs. After an internal move at the customer that provides a considerable cost and time saving.
The setup in a H-frame with two working stations positioned opposite to each other allows the operator to load unload and load the workpiece on one station, while the robot welds on the other station. In addition, the logistics of sub-components and welded parts can take place on both sides of the installation, which offers more freedom from a logistical point of view.
The Valk Welding H-frames are available in versions with a working length of 2,500 and 3,000 mm with a fixed robot and up to 6.000 mm with the robot on a shifter.
New General folder Valk Welding
We like to introduce to you our new general folder 2015.
Due to all the commercial and technical developments in the past years we wanted to update our general folder. We have grown steadily the last years. We expanded our activities to new European countries such as Poland, Sweden and Germany. Also technically there were many developments, so did ADK techniek reinforce their position within the Valk Welding group and the Arc-Eye laser sensor turns out to be a successful product.