Changing demands from customers made METALKO look for new ways of producing process equipment for the chemical and paper industry. The process equipment manufacturing company from Poland decided to invest in PEMA welding and assembly station and has seen an increase of 75% in the assembly.
METALKO sp. z o .o. in Poland is specialized in the manufacturing and renovation of process equipment for example for the chemical, petrochemical, and pulp-paper industry. 90% of their production goes to export.
METALKO sp. z o.o. is a medium-sized company located in the heart of Poland, in the city of Bydgoszcz, close to Poland’s longest river Vistula. The company manufactures process equipment for example for the chemical and paper industry. The range of products is wide and single parts are produced mainly from steel. What makes production special is that METALKO has a big portfolio of products in different types and sizes. Even though vessels can be similar, the production is individual and customized according to the customer’s needs.
“We want to be flexible. We are a company of 200 people in total. Half of the employees work in the workshop, so the working environment needs to be safe. Safety and efficiency are the main benefits that welding automation has brought for us”, tells Wojciech Duda, Plant Director at METALKO.
The welding automation solution Pemamek delivered for METALKO is designed specifically for thin-walled tank production. Cooperation between Pemamek and METALKO started already in 2017 when three welding positioners were delivered. The second set of positioners was delivered in 2020 after good cooperation for several years. Finally, the PEMA TW5000-25 Welding and Assembly station with side support arms were delivered to Poland in the fall of 2021.
“I remember when visiting Pemamek many years ago, it was the first time I saw this kind of equipment. After that, I kept the company in my mind in case we could work together in the future”, reminisces Duda.
The decisive factor for METALKO’s investment in PEMA Assembly Station was the side supporting arms of the PEMA Assembly Station.
In the past, METALKO has relied on external cranes and traditional methods in the assembly of tanks. When the company started to receive a growing number of requests for bigger process equipment, they were faced with the challenge of how to assemble big tanks with thin walls. The wall thickness of the cylindrical products they manufacture ranges between 8 and 12 mm, and the length of a complete tank can go up to 28 meters and weighs from 45 to 60 tons. With the growing lengths, larger diameters, and thinner materials, the old method including external cranes and vertical assembly, became impossible. Now the longest part assembled on the PEMA Assembly station is 17m and weighs 18 tons.
“Producing bigger equipment with the old method would have been dangerous. We needed to find new ways of working. Due to the height of the tanks, we got an idea to make the assembly in a horizontal position. The main challenge then became the delicate style of the cylinders. How could we keep the right form in this new way of working? We turned to Pemamek for advice and the challenge was successfully solved with PEMA Welding and Assembly Station”, says Duda.
PEMA Welding and Assembly Station is an innovative solution for manufacturing tubular and conical workpieces, such as tanks and process vessels. The main benefit is that the station guarantees perfect roundness, even for thin wall workpieces. This is due to the self-aligning rollerbeds, jig units on each side, and the edge leveling cylinders for shell and section. Thanks to precise assembly, the PEMA Assembly Station increases the productivity and quality of the end-product. Work safety increases since no manual handling is needed.
The decisive factor for METALKO’s investment in PEMA Assembly Station was the side supporting arms of the PEMA Assembly Station. The side support arms are dedicated especially to large diameter components with thin walls which suit METALKO perfectly since the thickness of the cylindrical products is 8-12 mm and diameters range from 2 to 5 meters. By utilizing the side support arms, it’s possible to support the cylinder when fitting the joint and throughout the welding process. Side support arms are available for all PEMA Assembly lines as complementary equipment. With the side support arms, handling of thin-walled workpieces becomes significantly easier and faster, and the time savings are remarkable.
Before making the decision to invest in PEMA welding automation, METALKO together with Pemamek visited another company in Łódź in Poland. The aim was to see the PEMA Assembly line in action and to talk with the people using the machines.
“We wanted to ask the people how they feel and how they are using the PEMA solutions. It was very helpful for us to see the same solution we wanted for ourselves. We are happy that PEMA made it possible for us to see the solution in action in another company”, explains Duda.
Delivery and implementation of the PEMA assembly and welding station were fast. METALKO got the new assembly and welding station in just three months. This was crucial for the company since without the PEMA equipment production of large tanks would have not been possible. METALKO has been happy with the training and support they have gotten from Pemamek. After the fast installation, they were able to start using the new equipment almost immediately.
“Instead of spending one month on assembly, we now do it in just one week. After the learning phase, I believe it might be even faster”, tells Duda.
Lastly, what advice would METALKO give to anyone considering an investment in welding automation?
“I can truly recommend this kind of solution for assembly and welding. My advice for successful implementation is to be open-minded, have good trainers and people who want to start working with the new technology.”
After investing in PEMA welding and assembly station, the assembly of big tanks is safer and 4 times faster. No external cranes are needed.