Automated welding and assembly
Automated welding and assembly can bring many benefits to manufacturers. Excellent competitiveness, profitability, and quality are some of the main reasons for the popularity of PEMA Assembly and welding station amongst Pemamek’s customers. Tank, pressure vessel, jacket leg, and wind tower manufacturers all rely on the modern welding automation solution, and Joonas Arola, Director of Offshore & Process equipment segment at Pemamek, explains why.
Assembly station in short
Assembly station is a solution to assemble and weld shells together to make pressure vessels and tanks. The shell is lifted with a crane on the fit-up and jig unit, and the section lies on a power and idler unit. The fit-up unit, equipped with end-stoppers, firmly pushes the shell against the section.
Before the shell and section are tack-welded, independent levelling cylinders make sure that the edges of the structures are evenly fitted, and the shell maintains its perfect roundness. The levelling is always done before tack-welding. One operator can control the assembly station with wireless control, which makes the rotation of both section and shell easy and fast.
Once the shell and section are joined with tack welds, the final welds are done by using fully integrated welding tower with the most suitable welding equipment. After that, the power and idler units move the entire section further, and a new shell can be joined.
Automated welding solutions block the most common challenges
Lack of high-class professional welders is a commonly recognized issue amongst manufacturers of various industries. Automated assembly and welding offer significant help to staff capacity: one of Pemamek’s long-term customers has reported that PEMA Assembly and welding station has enabled two to three workers to do the same job that used to require a total of 10 employees. The solution releases the human talent to other tasks, and the same goes for often limited crane capacity:
“Our solution enables companies to utilize their cranes to other tasks: before, many of our customers needed the crane for the whole process, and now it is only necessary for lifting the workpiece”, explains Arola, and also reminds that lifting by overhead crane is always a safety risk.
Another challenge that manual fitting often causes is the slowness of the process. Especially when accuracy plays an important role, manual work often becomes quite slow. PEMA Assembly and welding station ensure both speed and accuracy of the fit-up of large cylinders, resulting in an overall faster and more efficient process.
“The overall production outflow increases significantly when the fitting time is reduced without having to compromise with quality. In fact, with automated welding we can ensure no damages to workpieces as well as perfect roundness for thin-walled, tubular and conical end-products. To one of our newest customers, better end-product quality was one of the biggest targets of their investment”, says Arola.
Competitiveness and efficiency guaranteed
Ability to respond to changing manufacturing needs and guarantee competitivity has been the driving factor to invest in welding automation for many of Pemamek’s customers. PEMA Assembly and welding station provides a high level of automation and intelligent material handling as the solution is fully integrated with PEMA Column & Boom – and controlled with just one system.
“Assembly station is extremely beneficial in thick and thin material shell manufacturing. Modern integration between different PEMA solutions, and the easy control system that requires just one operator, ensure profitability and competitiveness in many markets”, emphasizes Arola.
Many of Pemamek’s customers have praised the better production capacity that PEMA Assembly and welding station enables, thanks to shortened production lead times. In many cases, customers have seen the changes a mere one or two weeks after the easy installation.
Naturally, the solution is ideal for tank and pressure vessel manufacturers, but according to Arola the versatility of PEMA Assembly and welding station can profit many other industrial needs as well:
“PEMA Assembly and welding solution is extremely suitable for any workshop that manufacturers tanks, pressure vessels or any other kind of tubular products, such as chimneys. Moreover, many of our customers utilize the solution in jacket leg and wind tower production as well. With PEMA assembly and welding station, I believe companies can also make the transformation from oil & gas sector manufacturing to more renewable energy sector products, like hydrogen tanks or carbon capture and storage equipment.”