Valk Welding has delivered two similar robot configurations for the automation of the welding and glueing process of Picanol, one of the world’s largest weaving machine manufacturers.
According to Senior Buyer & Manufacturing Manager Geert Tanghe, it was mainly based on the Valk Welding technical know-how and flexible approach that Picanol now has a flexible welding robot system and a highly innovative robot solution for the automation of the gluing process supplied by Valk Welding.
Picanol was looking for a robot integrator for the automation of its glueing and welding system. In an extremely lean & mean and highly automated production system the welding was still carried out partially manually, and the transport rollers were still glued entirely by hand. Geert Tanghe: “Until recently glueing was a traditional process that was in sharp contrast to the rest of the production process. We wanted to introduce a new glueing procedure and improve quality by automating the process. For the welding of the construction parts and the transport rollers we were looking to partially replace and extend the existing welding robot. Valk Welding is a well-known name in the region, also at the suppliers of our plate and sub-components. We asked Valk Welding and a couple of other robot integrators to offer us a turnkey solution to our problem.”
2 Robot systems on an H-frame
The design of the robot configuration delivered by Valk Welding for the robotised welding of transport rollers and traverses (stabiliser tubes) with dimensions of 1.5 to 5.6 metres in length corresponds to the configuration for glueing. Both systems consist of a robot on an H-frame (fixed torsion frame with positioners on 1 top side and 2 adjustable counter bearings) in a special design. Both robots are Panasonic TA-1400 models.
Welding robot system
In the welding robot system supplied by Valk Welding a Panasonic TA-1400 welding robot moves on an integrated 6m track to weld the tubes and transport rollers in lengths up to 5.6m on 2 jig stations. The positioners on both sides have a fixed position and are equipped with adjustable counter bearings. That makes it possible to weld both the smallest and the largest lengths of the transport rollers and stability tubes just on one single system. Valk Welding also saw to the development and delivery of the welding jigs and the programming of the welding robot for the 2 types and 15 different lengths.
Glueing robot system
Geert Tanghe: “In our weaving machines the woven material is guided to the output side by 3 transport rollers. These have to be covered with rough textiles to obtain the necessary grip.” Delta Application Technics, which specialises in the design and production of application and dosing systems for liquid and paste products, was asked to develop a solution to apply the glue precisely and automatically to the metal transport rollers in such a way that the glue was spread evenly. “Integrating the dosing system in the same automated system of Valk Welding made it possible to make do with virtually the same robot system, which was a big advantage in terms of maintenance and usage. All that needed to be done was to replace the welding torch with a glue dispenser.”