The family-owned company Ernst Kern GmbH realises both complex industrial projects and private construction projects. The specialists for steel and metal construction have been using a CLOOS welding robot with the QIROX RoboScan programming system in their production since mid-2022. Thanks to the minimum programming effort and the simple operation of the intelligent robot system, the company can weld workpieces automatically in batch size 1. "We decided in favour of the robotic welding system because we wanted to relieve the employees," explains Robert Kern, who leads the company together with his father and sister. "The satisfaction of our employees is an important success factor for us."
Counteracting the shortage of skilled workers The company feels the shortage of skilled workers very clearly, also because of the location. Fewer and fewer qualified manual welders are available on the labour market. In order to counteract this development, to better absorb order peaks and to further increase the quality level the company decided to invest in a robot welding system in 2021. "The physically heavy and monotonous tasks can now be taken over by the robot and the operators have more time to concentrate on other demanding tasks and process monitoring," says Kern. "In addition, the general hazard and exposure to arc radiation and welding fumes is less."
Quality in focus With more than 70 employees in Großheirath near Coburg, Kern covers the entire spectrum of steel and metal construction - from planning and design to execution. The core competencies are the design, manufacture and assembly of architecturally sophisticated steel and metal structures for a wide range of applications and customer groups. Kern stands out from the competition in particular due to its high level of quality. With continuous investments in modern machinery, the company wants to further expand its quality lead. Thanks to the precision of the new welding robot, Kern was able to further increase the quality of the weld seams compared to manual welding and at the same time increase the welding speed.
Automated welding in batch size 1 It is the first robot system for Kern. In the past, automated welding in steel and metal construction was often not worthwhile - due to the high programming effort caused by component tolerances and because of the large variety of products. That is why they decided to use QIROX RoboScan from CLOOS. "We manufacture many different components for our customers," explains Stephan Ilgner, head of steel construction at Kern. "The CLOOS robot with scanner offers maximum flexibility for our welding production."
Welding at a touch of the button First, the operator positions the workpiece on the workstation of the system. A special fixture for loading the workpieces is not required. The scanner mounted on a linear track then scans the work surface of the component and saves the result. The system detects weld seams such as fillet and corner seams as well as butt and lap seams and converts the data stored by the scanner into a 3D model which appears on a screen. The welding program is automatically generated from the comparison of the 3D model with the component geometry stored in QIROX RoboScan. The operator can check the result and, for example, make corrections to the weld seam length or change the welding direction. Then the QIROX RoboScan sends the completely generated program including all welding data to the robot controller. The operator can then start welding simply by pressing a button on the operating monitor.
Carl Cloos Schweisstechnik GmbH Carl-Cloos-Strasse 1, 35708 Haiger Stefanie Nüchtern-Baumhoff Tel. +49 (0)2773 85-478 E-Mail: email@example.com