With a history dating back to 1849, Mabey Bridge is a specialist supplier of modular steel bridging, wind turbine towers and heavy plated steelwork. Because of the products it manufactures, Mabey Bridge has a need for a highly flexible production environment. 'KRANENDONK supplied us with an advanced robot welding system which provides that flexibility', explains Alex Wilson, the production engineer responsible for automation projects within Mabey Bridge.
Wilson continues: 'We purchased the system in 2005 for the welding of stiffeners in heavy plated steel beams. The biggest benefit of KRANENDONK’s system is the drastic reduction in programming and production time. The robots get their data directly from the integrated CAD system, which guarantees the accuracy of the programs. Our productivity has significantly increased since we have been using the robot welding system. Quality has also been consistent'. Mr. Wilson gives Mabey Bridge’s main reasons for the boost in productivity. 'Both sides of each stiffener are welded simultaneously. This minimizes heat distortion and cuts the welding time in half.'
KRANENDONK believes that a robot system should not have to be operated by robot programmers. Mr. Wilson agrees: 'The intuitive user interface of the KRANENDONK welding system makes it easy to operate. After pressing the start button, the system runs completely autonomously. This means the operator can perform other jobs in the area while the system is welding.' Mr. Wilson concludes: ‘The robot welding system enables us to control our quality - records of all welds are logged by the robot, which enables us to guarantee quality which in turn helps us to deliver the best bridging solutions to our customers.'