PEMA Welding Automation Solutions for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind tower and foundation manufacturing

Offshore towers – Monopiles – Transition pieces – Jackets – 

Floating foundations – Nacelle structures

Welding automation for the offshore wind industry

The diameters, thicknesses, and sizes of the offshore wind towers and foundations are rapidly growing. The challenge is how to safely and efficiently manufacture the giants.

Pemamek offers complete automation solutions for 

  • Offshore towers
  • Monopiles
  • Transition pieces
  • Jackets
  • Floating foundations
  • Nacelle structures

Offshore wind tower and foundation manufacturing​

The sizes of offshore wind towers and foundations are rapidly growing. Manufacturing such big constructions and thick materials brings changes to maintaining the process efficiency. As a result, welding grooves need to be smaller to reach the required capacity and still maintain high quality. As manual welding is time-consuming, and inefficient and there is never a full guarantee of labor safety, automated processes provide the solution. Welding and production automation provides the safety and productivity that manufacturing of such big constructions and thick materials need.

PEMA solutions are designed for the effective manufacturing of heavy steel structures for towers and foundations. All lines are modular and designed to match the customer’s production capacity needs. 

Pemamek understands the whole production process and offers a complete solution, including equipment and services, needed for reaching productivity and quality targets.

Adaptive robotized welding.

Welding Automation for Foundations

High Level of Automation

The share of the cost of the foundation relative to the complete wind turbine installation is considerably higher than with onshore foundations. It is extremely important to optimize every part of the foundation production flow to minimize all associated costs.

PEMA offshore foundation manufacturing lines are always specially engineered for the manufactured foundation type, ensuring the highest reasonable automation level. Therefore, the productivity and quality produced by the PEMA solution are superior to that of other manufacturing lines.

“We highly value our close cooperation with Pemamek. It is difficult to imagine what it would be like, to work without PEMA.”

Automation solutions for floating foundations

With floating foundations, the wind tower base is kept in place with help of long cables that are attached to the seafloor. The offshore wind turbine foundation design is different but has similarities to the technical structures that are used in submarines, shipbuilding, oil rigs, and wind tower manufacturing.

By combining different PEMA welding automation solutions it’s possible to build these huge structures with the preciseness that is needed.

Robotised node welding station for jackets

A jacket structure has a much more complex geometry than a monopile foundation. Essentially, a jacket consists of three or four legs diagonally and horizontally braced against a transition piece in the center. The legs are also interconnected with bracing to provide the stiffness required.

Automatization of node welding is one possibility to increase efficiency in jacket production. Demanding weld shapes can be handled with parametrized robot programming and laser-based seam tracking.

Production lines for jacket legs and piles

Jacket legs and piles are made from relatively thick material but have smaller diameters than other offshore foundation structures. PEMA has specialized solutions with submerged arc welding.

Node welding can be automated with PEMA WeldControl 300 software.

Plate prefabrication

Short edge cutting

1st side cutting

2nd side milling

Flip over plates

2nd side welding

Plate Fabrication

Blasting and cutting of plates

Pemamek has developed specialized products for plate joining that include advanced seam tracking and multi-pass functionalities, integrated inductive pre/heating solutions, and one-side or two-side welding. PEMA automation line requires only one operator and one touchscreen to control all the processes.

Pemamek’s plate fabrication solution can be delivered as a turn-key package, a complete production line including several demanding processes. One PEMA solution can integrate everything from plate conveyors to groove milling and welding into the same production line. Integration not only saves welding time but also shortens the set-up and handling times.

The production line can be delivered as a turnkey package including several demanding processes such as prefabrication, cutting, and stable conveyor transportation.

Section Fabrication

Integrated solutions for efficient section fabrication

Pemamek’s unique solution in the market for joining and fitting the shells into sections is based on self-aligning rollerbeds. PEMA rollerbeds with anti-creep function can be used for offshore towers as well as for large tubular foundation elements like transition pieces, monopiles, suction buckets, and floating structures. Specially designed solutions for section manufacturing ensure efficiency and quality throughout the production line.

PEMA solutions cover all welding and material handling needs during these phases. Solutions can be used for monopile, transition piece, tripod, and quadripod sub-assembly production, but also to full-length monopile joining.

PEMA self-aligning rollerbeds are a unique solution for joining and fitting the shells into sections.

PEMA Welding platform (WS)

PEMA WS welding platform is a solution for welding multiple joints simultaneously. This method makes it possible to manufacture even the heaviest offshore structures in reasonable time frames.

The platform can be made double-sided to serve two lines and it can replace 2–6 columns and boom type welding machines.

Edge preparation is milled after the interior welding is completed. Integrated milling ensures defect-free welding and the possibility to produce semi-narrow gap joints. When welding heavy thick wall material, semi-narrow gap joints can radically reduce the amount of time needed and consumables used.

Integrated circular milling

• Improved quality
• Faster operation
• Space efficiency
• Semi-narrow gap joints

PEMA Flange Fitting

One of the latest PEMA innovations, Horizontal Flange Fitting station (PEMA HFF), enables fast, safe and accurate fit-up of the flange to the shell. The flange is placed in a horizontal position while the shell is firmly supported by the anti-creep roller beds.

Shell Fabrication

Efficiency and quality through correct production line

Pemamek provides shell fabrication solutions for all kinds of tubular and conical shells. Long seams varying from the biggest monopile diameters to the smaller diameter and heavy conical jacket leg parts can be welded efficiently in the correctly selected welding solution.

Monopile type of foundations includes two heavyweight sections, monopile itself and transition piece that connects pile to turbine tower.

In order to first build and then join these huge sections together, you can either use a single can process or utilize substations for joining multiple cans. Whatever process is chosen, Pemamek has the equipment to carry it out.

Pemamek’s range of solutions includes welding stations, for internal and external longitudinal and circumferential welding. The productivity of external welding can be further improved by employing PEMA WS welding platforms for the simultaneous welding of multiple or more joints.


PEMA WeldControl 500

Technology for offshore wind

The PEMA WeldControl 500 software system is used to control automated multi-pass-welding and adaptive filling functions. It processes data acquired via laser scan and generates weld paths based on the data and parameters programmed by welding engineers. Because the operator becomes more of an observer, multiple welds can be performed simultaneously, all controlled from one station with one software.

One of the safest and most efficient ways to weld big offshore wind structures is with the PEMA welding platform with a tandem long stick-out process combined with PEMA Weldcontrol 500 software, equipped with tiltable welding heads. The control panels are visual and simple to use and control the whole welding process. This technology and software go hand in hand with heavy material handling solutions such as roller beds and assembly stations. All controls are in one place: welding platform or column and boom functions, seam tracking, full digital integration to Lincoln Power wave, roller beds, and positioners.

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PEMA solutions and technology provide the highest safety and welding efficiency at work, with 50 years of experience in the field. 

Article: Production Of Offshore Wind Turbines And Floating Foundations | Juhani Tuomola

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