Automated welding technology for doublebottom structures that is first of its kind in the Baltic countries. Next robot welding station, PEMA VRWP-C will be delivered in the spring, 2019.
Challenge: Demand for bigger production capacity in double-bottom structures.
Solution: PEMA VRWP-X2 16000, PEMA WeldControl 200 Create
Benefit: Improved capacity and profitability.
New Generation Visual Robot Welding Portal
“One of the main drivers for investments in production automation was the lack of skilled welders”
Lithuanian shipbuilding company, Western Baltija Shipbuilding, is known as experienced ferry, tug, offshore and multipurpose vessel provider. In addition to that, the company is also a subcontractor for European high class cruiser shipyards.
The history of the company started in 2010 when two major Lithuanian Shipbuilding companies, Western Shipbuilding Yard and Baltija Shipbuilding Yard, merged to become a one of the leading shipyards in the industry. Soon after the fusion, Western Baltija Shipbuilding noticed a significant need to start developing and modernizing their production equipment because of a high market demand, but there was not enough skilled workforce available.
“One of the main drivers for investments in production automation was the lack of skilled welders. The demands of shipbuilding industry have changed and competition is tough, so we needed to look for new production technologies in order to ensure our market position,” says Vitalij Frolov, Director of Western Baltija Shipbuilding.
The maximum size of a ship that Western Baltija can build at their shipyard is 120 meters long and 20 meters wide. The annual volume of built ships and units is 3-4 ships on average and the number is constantly increasing. In addition to the growing demand, ship-owners are looking for high-end quality while expecting shorter delivery times.
“We started to consider solutions that would enable us to meet our customers’ needs and our own production goals. The investment needed to be efficient and the provider someone that we could trust in,” Frolov continues. “Our good experiences with Pemamek go back to 20 years when first PEMA panel line was purchased. Additionally, we had good references from other shipyards with PEMA solutions.”
PEMA VRWP-X2 16000 is designed to weld double-bottom structures. The welding solution is equipped with two robots and is able to weld units with the maximum width of 16 meters and height up to 3 m.
As Western Baltija Shipbuilding works as subcontractor for major shipyards in the Baltic Sea area, the company has noticed the increasing demand of double bottom structures. Double bottom structures are known to prevent oil spills in case of accidents while making the hull structure more stable.
A typical double bottom structure consists of top and bottom plates, girders, web floors and longitudinal stiffeners. The structures include several detailed welds in challenging locations.
Pemamek’s solution for the double bottom structures, PEMA VRWP-X2 16000, is equipped with two robots and is able to weld units with the maximum width of 16 meters and height up to 3 m.
“One of the most important criteria for the robot solution was efficiency and flexibility. This means easy to program, modify and adjust the welds but also the system should be easy to use. PEMA VRWP-X2 is controlled with PEMA WeldControl 200 CREATE programming system, which has met all of our demands,” describes Vladislav Šachmanov, Technical Director of Western Baltija Shipbuilding.
Automating double hull welding does not only bring improvements to productivity and working environment, but also to cost-efficiency, production quality and material usage.
“Investment to PEMA robot welding solution has saved us money and time, but also we have now significantly better welding quality. Additionally, we have saved more than 20% on welding consumables,” tells Šachmanov.
The remarkable project was completing on time and according to the initial plan. As a result of the successful collaboration, next PEMA robot solution, PEMA VRWP-C for micro-panels, will be delivered in 2019.
“We are very pleased with our collaboration. Pemamek’s team has special expertise in shipbuilding and the personnel are very skilled. We have achieved significant improvements and advantages to our production. Now we are looking forward to complete our next investment project, PEMA VRWP-C for micro-panel production,” summarizes Frolov.
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