Welding is one of Smulders’ core activities. It is going on day and night on parts for mega projects. Driven by innovation, we want our people to have access to the best machinery and technology. That’s how we can make sure our operations become more sustainable and efficient. It’s a matter of research, testing, implementing and getting results. And we do so together with VSE Technologies.
Welding stations cannot be replaced overnight when you know that currently about 600 of them – including racks – are in use. Welding is one of our main activities, which is why we thoroughly want to think everything through. Theoretical calculations, user feedback, consumption, etc. are used to optimise our approach. The requirements: energy-efficient welding stations that can withstand harsh operating conditions and excel in terms of efficiency, reliability and user-friendliness. Deployable across all our production sites, because uniformity is the future. And so the ball got rolling, one year and a half ago. A conversation with the initiators.
Benny Loots, Director Iemants & Willems: “A major trigger is the need for uniformity within Smulders, sharing experiences, purchasing together and getting interesting terms, starting a pilot project and rolling it out after a positive evaluation. With VSE Technologies, we already have a serious track record of innovation and technology. They are the right partner to guide us in the search for energy-saving machines with the right functionalities. And that’s exactly what happened. I can still see it standing there when I visited VSE Technologies in Heist-op-den-Berg: welding machine Robust Feed Pro with ESAB Warrior 400i/500i power source. What appealed to me right away was the robustness of the machine, interesting to try out. At Willems we started to design a rack where we could incorporate 2 welding stations. That proved to be a successful move.”
Bob Boons, General Manager Supporting Activities at Smulders Projects Belgium in Hoboken: “In the past, each branch had its own preferred brand. We used to focus on user-friendliness and easy maintenance. With the current energy challenges in mind and our goal of being carbon neutral by 2035, the sustainability factor with energy consumption monitoring has become decisive. Because a welding station is a continuous consumer, this will be a structural energy-saving measure.”
Dieter Weyns, General Director Smulders Projects Poland: “Of course, it all starts on the shop floor, our welders have to like working with it. Change is not always obvious, first see and then believe that the new welding station lives up to its promises. Measuring is knowing. After the first convincing reports from Benny, we jumped on the bandwagon in Poland. And then we gained momentum. In a first phase, we purchased 15 new welding stations, 5 for each Polish site.”
Bart Lourdaux, Managing Director VSE Technologies: “We understand the concerns of the welders, and always try to strike the right balance between ease of use, application, reliability and ROI (return on investment). Above all, a welding station should be user-friendly, preferably with as few buttons as possible, yet with all welding process-specific settings. Our multifunctional machines meet this requirement, we closely follow the customer’s changing needs and put forward the best solutions, sometimes with part customisation. Given its core business, the welding activities at Smulders are also major energy consumers. The energy crisis brought additional challenges. We did theoretical calculations and took practical measurements in each plant with a view to saving money and choosing the most ecological machine. By involving colleagues from all branches, we created support based on facts & figures. In each site, we came to the same conclusion and results, which motivated us to implement the same type of welding station everywhere. That economy of scale offers advantages at group level.”
Innovation all the way, you can say that again. VSE Technologies brought in top technology to Smulders. The WarriorTM offers excellent arc performance with the energy savings you would expect from a latest-generation inverter. This along with excellent welding results, intuitive operation, more welding power produced by a lighter, smaller and more portable and protected machine.
The powerhouse: Robust Feed Pro wire feeder with ESAB Warrior 400i/500i power source
Bob Boons: “Innovation and welding don’t always seem to go together well, but with VSE Technologies as a systems integrator, we keep challenging each other to become better. Their knowledge helps us to continuously improve our production processes. And our clients can rest assured that their projects are created with first-class material. Only the best is good enough.”
Benny Loots: “The results are there. Prior to this investment, we tested extensively and checked the figures. The consumption during standby of the welding stations is 16 times lower than the old machines and during welding they consume about 25% less energy. Sustainability takes precedence – on average about 35% less energy consumption, and that counts. The return on investment is less than 5 years. The life span of such a welding station depends on several factors. For some machines this will be 15 years, for others sometimes up to 30. Means we recover the investment relatively quickly.”
The machinery is continuously being optimised, in gradual steps. This year, 99 welding stations were ordered, the first batches of which have been delivered to the various sites. Smulders Projects Belgium has also already ordered 20 more for 2024.
Dieter Weyns: “In the following years, we will continue to do the same. Project-based solutions are what we need. We continue to look for innovative welding techniques. Whereas previously the choice of welding stations was rather person- or location-based, group preference now prevails. People seem to be quite positive in Poland. The welding stations are easy to use and they offer continuity. And that this new material helps us become energy-neutral is absolutely perfect. Great strides have been made in an overarching collaboration – 1 organisation, 1 vision. We want more of that.”
#together: sustainable user-friendly reliable efficient innovative uniform
At Vanderscheuren in Diksmuide, Flanders, two Yaskawa welding robots ensure that custom-made products can be welded for 16 hours a day, 5 days a week. The robots were delivered complete with a manipulator, fencing, extraction system, welding equipment, and track. The installation was provided by VSE Technologies.
Yaskawa partner VSE Technologies from Heist-op-den-Berg had already carried out work for Vanderscheuren, an executive producer of customized metal processing. This customer had several older robot installations from another brand with outdated welding sources. VSE “upgraded” one of the installations with new welding equipment. Due to the age of the three existing welding robots at Vanderscheuren, the second robot was replaced with a used Yaskawa welding robot. It was equipped with new welding equipment by VSE. A completely new installation was chosen for the third robot.
The new installation has a large manipulator with two workstations where pieces up to 5 meters apart are placed, allowing the operator to load while the robot is welding. The operator is protected from the arc by a shield between the two stations during loading and unloading. The station switch occurs around a horizontal axis and is fully integrated into the robot program. The robot is mounted on a Yaskawa track, allowing easy access to the entire 5-meter range. This solution doubled the production speed.
Vanderscheuren manufactures oil tanks that are installed in large industrial looms and keep the spindles lubricated. An oil tank is a square tube with a diameter not exceeding 20 cm. “They work with a fixed daily output, so they need to deliver a certain number of pieces per day. The last time I spoke to them, they had a four-day production lead,” says Vleugels.
The installation consists of the robot, manipulator, and track, as well as the fencing and extraction system, all installed by VSE Technologies. The entire system was first assembled at VSE with support from Yaskawa. Vanderscheuren expanded and built a new facility. “We relocated the used robot from the old facility to the new one,” Vleugels continues. “The installations are now side by side and share the same extraction system.” The first Yaskawa robot has a small turntable, but the manipulator of the new installation can handle pieces up to 5 meters in length.
In Vanderscheuren’s new production hall, alongside the two Yaskawa robot installations (the third outdated robot has been dismantled), there are also cutting and bending machines in the expanded machine park. VSE Technologies will perform the maintenance of the robot installations to ensure the current accelerated production is maintained.
(translated) source: https://marktaanbodmetaal.nl/dubbele-productiesnelheid-met-yaskawa-lasrobots
The VSE Technologies service team is ready to support you with advice and assistance for all your welding-related questions. Pictured here with ESAB’s WarriorEdge.
We are very pleased to invite you to Welding Week 2019. Come and visit us at booth 4-D320
We would like to introduce you to our service and automation options and to discuss future options and challenges.
You can get your free admission ticket via the link below:
We hope to welcome you on 19 – 20 or 21/11/2019.
Of course you are also always welcome to come and see our products in our company showroom.
See you then!
You can now rent your welding machine via vse-rent.be! In cooperation with ESAB we rent out welding machines.
We rent equipment for tig welding, mig and mig mag welding, electrode welding and gouging. You can also contact VSE rent for a welding tractor or positioning settings.
Extensive technological know-how and constant training of each of our team members. A thorough understanding of the needs of industrial customers. This makes VSE your all-round partner for comprehensive solutions. VSE offers a complete and high-quality range of welding technology, electricity, electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, logistics and PLC controls. VSE likes to think along with you and share its know-how.
To guarantee optimal quality, our rental devices are fully checked and tested both upon departure and upon return. All welding machines are also provided with a calibration certificate. We offer transport at competitive prices. Delivery to yards is possible.
Bij Inkart in Ruisbroek ( Puurs) is midden mei naar stilaan jaarlijkse gewoonte weer volop strijd geleverd voor de Voka Karting Cup. Bij de derde editie van dit originele teambuildingevent mocht Voka – KvK Mechelen-Kempen met vierentwintig aanwezige bedrijventeams een volle startgrid noteren. Na spannende kwalificatierondes werd het startsein gegeven voor een uithoudingsrace, waarbij uiteindelijk VSE TECHNOLOGIES de teams Vermant en Gregoir voor de overwinning op afstand konden houden.
Ambacht in de kijker is een nationale wedstrijd die kwaliteitsvolle ambachtslieden in de kijker zet, de ambachtelijke sector promoot bij het grote publiek, en jongeren warm maakt voor deze beroepen. In 2018 is dit project reeds aan zijn 13de editie toe.
VSE has been successfully realising ESAB ICE OP welding process projects (submerged arc welding) for some time. This ICE process is a revolutionary variant of the SAW welding process. This is a technique, whereby in addition to two hot wires a third cold wire is added in parallel to the weld, without using additional energy.
This third wire or Integrated Cold Electrode (ICE) generates less crystal structure deformation due to lower energy input, less flux use, ~33% energy savings and up to ~50% increased welding speed. This is with the same heat input, unchanged quality root pass and minimal welding mistakes.
An all-round service partner is essential in project environments. VSE keeps your welding equipment operational and has extensive capabilities to help you quickly, professionally and cost-effectively, for all high-quality brands available on the welding market.
Led by coach Frank Pilgrims they give the next three seasons the best of themselves in the colors of VSE and Dintools
That on 6 July 2015 the Tour de France caravan rode through Heist-op-den-Berg? A front-row seat for the entire event could be had on the VSE terrain. Due in part to the large TV screens, the audience there did not miss even the smallest detail of the entire spectacle. Accompanied, of course, by a bite to eat and a refreshing drink!
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