The Future Of Plate Edge Rounding Blog 6/8: Time = Money

Edwin van Mensvoort
– Updated
Sep 10, 2020

Let’s talk about the overall benefits of edge rounding automation. A return on investment (ROI) is often fully calculated on labor. Sure, if you bring down the number of staff you will save money but consider the bigger picture. For example, rework, maintenance and usage of the overhead crane.

We all know using the overhead crane costs money. By removing the need to turn plates, we directly also save on costs for overhead crane usage. Hence, this also contributes again to the justification of the Edge Preparation System. Another example are the cleaning activities. Instead of difficult cleaning of a large area (grinding dust) we now have localized easy-to-clean milling chips. This also contributes to labor savings.

So it is not only the automation of the manual process that makes sense but as you can see by these examples there is actually a lot of money to be earned by removing or improving current activities.


When manually rounding edges of steel plates, a lot of valuable production time and capacity is lost in flipping large steel plates with an overhead crane. The overhead crane can be a real bottleneck in production. An automated edge rounding system eliminates this time-consuming process because the plates are lifted pneumatically. This way the milling head can work on both sides without the need to flip the plate. This increases the lifetime of the crane and this is a part of the ROI for automating the edge rounding process. 


Overhead Crane

 Picture: example of an overhead crane needed to pick up and turn plates. Our Edge Preparation System for edge rounding eliminates the need to flip plates. 


Do you know how much money you are losing due to disturbances in production such as rework, quality issues, misplanning and maintenance as a result of a lack of automation? This is challenging to quantify and different for each company. For sure, this is impacting your costs and therefore positively contributes to the return on investment of automation in general and also the Edge Preparation System. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, with our solution(s) you no longer have to worry about these concerns! 


Labor: Spend time only on loading and unloading
Overhead crane: Improved shop throughput and lifetime
Quality: ZERO rework costs
Capacity: More production in the same amount of time
Milling chips: Easy cleaning, less wear on surrounding equipment
Tools: Automatic tool changing, less downtime
Inspections: Easy, fast and always approved inspections


Companies are often under pressure by international competition and they are forced to establish continuous cost-saving methods in production. This is the driving force in making technical improvements such as more mechanization, automation and robotization. Automation improves more than just a single process and thus should be justified by looking at the bigger picture.

Kranendonk is THE specialist when it comes to automation, making your production process more efficient and more competitive. We offer high-end automation solutions for the shipbuilding industry. With smart robotics, we automate welding and cutting throughout the shipyard. This speeds up processes, and enhances quality of the entire work flow.

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