“Robotic welding is a strategic focus area for Kemppi.”
Headquartered in Finland, how has been the market for Kempii in India?
Globally, Kemppi employs over 600 people in 13 countries. In general, our customers operate in various fields of business: automotive, construction, oil and gas, shipbuilding, transportation, and machine manufacturing.
Kemppi’s subsidiary, Kemppi India Pvt Ltd, started its operations with a manufacturing unit in Chennai in 2011, and has had a key role in solidifying Kemppi’s position both in India and the Asian market in general. In India, our presence is the strongest at railways, power plants and shipyards. We also have strong cooperation in the market with several educational institutes and organizations in promoting and supporting welding skill development in India.
The production in Chennai started with basic MIG/MAG welding equipment called HiArc M 400R that still holds the number one position in its market segment. Over the years, another 10 products have been added to the portfolio and manufacturing lines in Chennai.
Could you brief us on the product line? Any recent launches?
Kemppi is a globally renowned welding technology pioneer and arc welding expert. Our offering includes welding equipment, software and services for manual, mechanized and automated for both demanding industrial applications and ready-to-weld needs. Our own component development ensures that our customers get sustainable premium products. The truth is that you cannot expect to have quality welds without quality equipment.
Last year marked the launch of the most intelligent industrial welding system, the X8 MIG Welder that makes a case for connected performance and usability. It captures the best of Industry 4.0 by offering native connectivity to WeldEye welding management software and innovative performance software. The digital WPS (dWPS) function renders the printed WPS unnecessary, and the intuitive wireless Control Pad surprises you with the speed and easiness of making settings and adjusting the welding parameters with long-range communication capabilities.
Accelerating automation increases the popularity of robotic welding in India. Universal welding solutions that can be integrated with any robot brand are sought after to ensure the flexibility of welding production. Kemppi’s A7 MIG Welder system for robotic arc welding responds exactly to that need. Equipped with the Kemppi Wise software, it adds value by significantly improving welding speed, boosting production efficiency, and enabling the same equipment to be used for a variety of welding tasks. The system’s modern user interface allows easy access to the power source from a standard computer with a regular browser. This enables unprecedented savings in setup time and provides quality control benefits throughout the equipment’s life cycle.
Recently, Kemppi opened up a robotic welding application center in China. Can you please elaborate on the unit?
We have chosen Asia as one of our key market areas and will focus on serving our local customers even better in the future. To fulfil this promise, we opened a robotic welding application center in China in December 2017. Having started deliveries to China already in the 1980s, the application center was a natural next step in serving the fast-growing robotic welding markets in China and Southeast Asia.
The center provides complete and innovative solutions and services for integrators and end customers alike. The center is located at the Kemppi China subsidiary facilities in Beijing, and equipped with Kemppi’s wide range of robotic welding equipment and robots from well-known robot manufacturers. A similar kind of center is on the anvil for India.
Could you please brief us on ‘WeldEye’ a universal solution to manage welding production?
Kemppi’s universal welding management software WeldEye responds to the growing demand for simplicity, traceability, and WPS management in welding production.
To meet welding standard requirements, the production department must keep track of what work has been done so far, which welding procedure specifications and parameters were used, what filler batch was used, the time when the welds were done and so forth. All this must be recorded as the work progresses so that quality control can collect the information and enter it into the system. Traditional documentation can take weeks – even months – which in turn takes time away from more productive work. In addition, one should not forget that the odds of human error increase with manual reporting.
With a software solution like WeldEye, all this data is collected digitally into the system and available in real time at the push of a button. Such insight translates to 100% weld traceability and allows immediate responses to welding deviations to ensure WPS compliant welding quality. The digital management of welder qualification certificates, welding procedures and NDT test results cuts overhead costs by decreasing the need for manual reporting, making documentation 70 % faster. In practice, this also means shorter project lead-times.
The company has its major focus on robotic market segment? Elaborate.
Robotic welding is a strategic focus area for Kemppi. In terms of welding automation, the Indian market is growing at 10% per year. This is primarily driven by the automotive segment, but similar needs arise also in energy and fabrication industries. Kemppi is going to have a major role in providing solutions for these kinds of applications, and we are also opening a robotics application center in Pune to better understand local customer needs, demonstrate the equipment and find suitable solutions for our customers.
While the need for automated welding systems is mainly driven by the lack of skilled welders in the market, we are also very invested in the skill development of welders. Kemppi India has aligned itself with numerous educational institutes in India to promote and support this aspect.
Could you brief us on the robotic welding market in India? Is the Indian market on par with the international markets?
The growth of automated welding sector in India is gradually accelerating at a 10 % annual rate. In terms of robot density, we currently have roughly one robot per 10,000 workers. Globally, the average is 66. While the lack of skilled welders is a major driver of welding automation in India, we still have a way to go compared to the global robotics market to keep up with global development.
Manufacturing welding equipment is no longer just about creating machines that a welder can use. It’s now about developing and combining software with welding machines. What is your say on this? What is Kempii’s effort on the same?
Today, welding innovation is enabled by digitalisation. We talk about the Internet of Welding™, meaning globally connected manufacturing from the welders on the shop floor to universal multi-site welding management. The X8 MIG Welder with native connectivity to the WeldEye welding management software is a perfect example of new IoT-based technology.
In general, the use of welding management software affects multiple points on the welding production chain creating value impact on several levels. It’s many benefits include the ability to automate the documentation process related to welding and catch welding deviations on an earlier stage to prevent costly repairs when a construction has already been finished. Both abilities cumulate the value by improving the arc-on time and reducing time spent on welder qualification certificate and welding procedure management. Digital solutions for data collection and reporting also minimize the risk of human errors during the process.
Understanding our customers’ needs, processes and goals is the most important task for us. Naturally, the purpose of software is to add value to the user and make the user experience as smooth as possible. For example, the Kemppi application software is designed to make the welding equipment perform optimally at any work. Our Wise special processes and functions provide, for example upgraded MIG/MAG welding process techniques or influence the efficiency of welding performance. You can weld root passes for pipes or plates with higher speed, get excellent weld quality with high speed combined to deeper penetration or ensure stable penetration regardless of the stick-out length variation.
Your comments on Safety in Welding?
Personal health is the most precious thing anyone can own. Health hazards in the workplace are a major concern for both employers and employees. With proper protective gear such risks can be managed for the benefit of the welders.
At Kemppi, we take the health and safety of welders very seriously. Carefully studying the welding trades and wide-ranging work environments, our products are designed for the ordinary welder with reliableperformance and protection for their health and safety.
According to you, does India still needs awareness on safety in welding?
There is always a room for development in this aspect. For Kemppi, it is very important to keep the dialogue going and provide welding solutions that support safety in welding.
What are the major challenges into the welding sector, especially in India? Ways to cope up.
Manufacturing is estimated to have an enormous impact on the well-being of Indian economy according to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the current Government. Currently contributing 14% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the share of manufacturing is estimated to be up to 20% of the GDP of India in 2020. Achieving this growth demands a lot from all links in the manufacturing value chain. That is where digital welding can help by simplifying welding production, traceability and WPS management.
Availability of skilled manpower (welders) is a challenge. Your efforts on the same.
There will be an enormous need for qualified welders within the coming years. It has been estimated that India needs up to five million new qualified welders by 2020. This is a challenge for the whole manufacturing industry, and Kemppi wants to take a central role in this development.
We work closely together with national welding institutes, universities, and other professional development organisations. Kemppi India is also a member of a network covering 25 universities and colleges in India targeting to develop modern welding skills. The new skillset combining MIG/MAG, MMA and TIG with new generation technology is critical in ensuring the quality of welding in the midst of new materials and technologies, complex end-products and versatile customer demands.
Could you brief us on your major clients?
Kemppi India serves customers operating in various business industries. In terms of segments, we have a strong presence in the transportation, shipbuilding, and energy sectors.
Any further expansion plans? Elaborate.
Kemppi’s new robotic welding application center will be opened in Pune, India in Spring 2018.