The United Wagon Company (UWC), a key manufacturer of freight wagons in Russia, has installed a new robotic complex at the Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant (TVSZ). The robotic systems will be used for the arc welding of intermediate beams. With its help, the company plans to improve its manufacturing process of open wagons, therefore ensuring high quality welds by minimising human variability.
The company said the robot would release highly-skilled specialist electric gas welders for other work which requires semiautomatic welding.
The robotic system was developed by the factory’s staff in conjunction with Japanese automation company Fanuc, welding specialist Abicor Binzel of Germany and Slovakian engineering company Kovaco. A team of TVSZ experts developed the technical requirements for the complex. It is also responsible for its final assembling and commissioning.
The equipment is designed for rapid readjustment and recalibration to suit other processes such as the welding of span bolsters and end beams.
“Involving in-house specialists in successful commissioning of a new welding station showcases the technological prowess and high competences of the plant and its staff for implementing sophisticated automation and robotics projects”, said Alexey Maksin, Chief Electronics Engineer at the Tikhvin plant.
“The launch of the robotic complex will guarantee high-quality welds and minimise the impact of the human factor. In addition, the introduction of new equipment allows us to release the high-skilled specialists, especially electric and gas welders, for work at other objects of the wagon manufacturing, where the use of semi-automatic welding machines is required,” the UWC stated.
The new solution could be used for welding other wagon parts such as pivot and end beams, which are similar in size and weight.
A team of programmers from Chief Electronics Engineer’s office as well as the assembly and welding section of TVSZ assumed the role of equipment integrator. The maintenance service and firmware support will also be provided by TVSZ experts, which will bring the equipment’s idle time and shutdowns to a minimum.
Designers of the new robotic center also thought of its fast readjustment and recalibration to suit other processes: the welding of span bolsters and end beams in the gondola car body and in other items of similar weight and dimensions.