News - High-tech robot center in Tiel is expanding
KRANENDONK Smart robotics expands its facilities at business park Medel (Tiel, The Netherlands). Due to rapid growth, following continuous market- and product development, every square millimeter is now fully occupied in the current head office, which only has been in use for two years.
In September 2016, Kranendonk Production Systems BV from Tiel started using a large new modern facility. The building, equipped with all the latest technology and a large assembly hall, would prepare the company for the future, 'Futureproof' was the description used. When the deputy mayor of Tiel, Laurens Verspuij, officially opened this building together with Arie Kranendonk, they did not dare to think that this future would come close as soon as it is now. At that moment, sometimes a question mark was put on the acute necessity of such a large assembly hall. It now appears, a year and a half later, it is already too small.
Restructuring in the shipbuilding and offshore construction market
The expansion is fueled by the increasing interest and demand from the worldwide offshore and shipbuilding market in particular. This sector has gone through far-reaching restructuring processes in recent years. They have chosen the route of scaling up and exploring possibilities for automation. Kranendonk has been working for a long time on these issues concerning possibilities for automation and robotization on this more massive scale. The first direct result is the development of the 'Goliath', an immense gantry with various welding robots that together can weld entire bottom sections of mega-vessels, with dimensions up to 24 by 32 by 7 meters high. The latter is a development that is entirely unique worldwide and enables shipbuilders to organize their complete shipbuilding process even more efficiently and effectively.
After a relatively short research & development phase, the first gantry is already under construction in the current assembly hall. The next three gantries, which together with the first one will form an integrated system at a large shipyard, will be assembled simultaneously in the new building. This immense building is planned right next door to the current accommodation at business park Medel. At this moment all the foundation work is already taking place and construction must be completed by the end of 2018. The assembly hall, equipped with energy-efficient underfloor heating, utilizing heat recovery, will already be put into operation in mid-August 2018. With dimensions of 80 by 40 by 25 meters, KRANENDONK will become the largest engineering and assembly centre in Europe, entirely dedicated to industrial robotics.
Ready for further growth
In the new building, four tailor-made overhead cranes with a span of 40 meters and a total lifting capacity of 160 tons will ensure that the vast machine parts will fit together with an accuracy of tenths of millimeters. Contractor J.C. van Kessel from Geldermalsen (NL) is again responsible for the design and construction process. After having taken care of the design and construction of the very first building on the Tiel industrial district Kellen, and later the new building on the Biezenwei, they will now do this again. Kranendonk has been located in Tiel since the early 1980's, and adds the next chapter to high-tech industry in Tiel with this step.
"With currently eight job-openings and the substantial growth of recent years in mind, we will remain one of the largest high-tech employers in the region," says Arie Kranendonk, founder and current CEO of the company. With the new accommodation, there will soon be room for over 80 highly skilled engineers and further growth is taken into account. The company also has subsidiaries in Japan, Denmark, Singapore, China and the United States and will further expand and strengthen its position as market leader for automation of non-repetitive production.
For more information:
s.voerman [a] kranendonk.com