Relicomp’s new welding robot could manage the night shift alone

A new ABB welding robot will be installed at Relicomp’s plant in Kurikka towards the end of the year. It will be a giant step forward in increasing the company’s degree of automatisation. Thanks to the robot, Relicomp will be able to weld even large individual items cost-efficiently.

This investment is very significant to Relicomp, as it enables the welding of completely new kinds of products. With the help of the robot, even large items can be welded more efficiently than before, and the material strength will no longer restrict the process. Additionally, the modern technology of the robot enables more extensive welding areas with one jig installation.

The customers will benefit from the robot through improved service. The welding machinery of the new robot is advanced technology, which means faster welding and a more high-quality end result.

“Thanks to the new welding robot we no longer have to make products in advance and store them; we can create them based on the customer’s needs. Before, robots were programmed to perform long, individual series, but the new technology enables us to also carry out small series cost-efficiently – or even just one individual item,” says the welding plant’s Supervisor Tero Syrjälä.

Due to the robot installation, the work assignments of the plant workers will change. Using the robot requires that a worker arranges the products to be welded optimally, after which the robot can be left to work unsupervised. With current machinery, the interval between changing from one welding assignment to another is about 30 minutes, but for the new machine, this interval is practically non-existent. The robot will use RFID technology to read the code from the welded item, and then choose the correct program.

According to Director of Production Arto Pitkämö, Relicomp’s long-term goal is to increase automatisation, which does not mean replacing people with robots, however.

“Automatisation means changing the job descriptions. In fact, the new robot will help us secure the current jobs and possibly even increase the number of jobs in the future,” Pitkämö says.