Edge preparation by milling improves welding automation

Edge preparation done by milling is vital in order to increase production efficiency, gain proper penetration, and good joint strength. Pemamek’s integrated milling solutions enable a significant improvement in quality as well as savings in money and time according to Teemu Tolonen, Application Manager of Wind Energy at Pemamek.

The accuracy of weld joint preparation is one of the main factors that affect the welding efficiency and achieved quality. For joint geometries, such as J and U -joints, preparation accuracy is crucial in order to gain high-quality welds.

“While the level of automation increases universally, integrated weld joint preparation becomes even more important. After a profound R&D at Pemamek, we have recognized that milling is an efficient and reliable method for joint preparation”, explains Tolonen.

Joint preparation crucial for high-quality weld

Traditionally weld joint preparation and welding are considered as their separate processes. Joint preparation and welding solution providers typically focus on optimizing only their part of the production chain, without fully considering the entire process and the bigger picture.

Teemu Tolonen, Application Manager of Wind Energy at Pemamek.

As a turnkey solution provider for different industry sectors, Pemamek offers a variety of different options for milling: whether as a stand-alone machine or as an integrated solution. With a strong background in welding automation, Pemamek has the know-how to optimize weld joint preparation specifically for welding process needs. According to Tolonen, “this enables the innovation of completely new production solutions, but also it boosts welding efficiency by the means of new welding automation solutions.

Robot Welding Station

Pemamek’s milling and welding system integration in PEMA LHAW-OSW shipbuilding solution. 

Milling is essential for all sectors that have heavy welding in their production.

LHAW OSW - Milling and welding integration in shipbuilding

For shipbuilding automation solutions, dedicated PEMA milling systems are designed for plate butt welding. Many of these are integrated into advanced laser-hybrid arc welding (LHAW), but the integration to more traditional SAW (submerged arc welding) or open arc welding processes are also available.

The main benefit of the integrated milling and welding process is minimizing the weld groove volume variations caused by deformations on the plate edges, but also ensuring precise groove geometry, which is not reachable with traditional thermal cutting processes.

The optimized milling process and dedicated R&D for the welding process development enable PEMA automation technology to reach an extended output of the systems.

Profile edge milling for flat panel fabrication

The advanced flat-panel fabrication process, targeting minimized deformations in the panel and maximized output of the fabrication line, has been enabled by milling of the profile edges, which are later welded to the flat panels.

In the PEMA profile processing line an in-house developed high-speed profile edge milling station is an example of innovative integration of the milling process as an essential part of the total fabrication process prior to the welding phase.

“In heavy production where welding is involved, instead of optimizing just one process, companies need to see the production chain as a whole:
each step has an effect on the entire process and overall productivity.”

PEMA milling solutions for heavy tubular production

PEMA semi-narrow gap (SNG) welding groove geometry minimizes the volume of the weld joint and ensures geometrically correct and clean groove edges, which especially in the case of thick material often is for the second side (outside) welding to maximize the efficiency of the welding process.

PEMA milling and welding machinery range have dedicated solutions for tubular structures, for both longitudinal and circumferential welding solutions.

In PEMA solutions, welding and milling processes are controlled with user-friendly control systems.

Milling gives a significant increase in total profitability

In heavy production where welding is involved, instead of optimizing just one process, companies need to see the production chain as a whole: each step has an effect on the entire process and overall productivity. When optimizing one process, it needs to be done in respect of the following production step.

When the goal is to achieve higher production efficiency, automation is the only option.

Thanks to advanced automation technology, milling can be integrated into the production line. This guarantees a dedicated process for the welding process minimized defect rate and a significant increase in total productivity“, Tolonen discusses the benefits.

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