Fortaco - efficient robot welding for high mix – low volume production

Fortaco has efficient robot welding for high mix – low volume production in their Narva plant

Fortaco manufactures components e.g. for heavy machinery

The Company

Fortaco is the leading brand independent strategic partner to the heavy off-highway equipment and marine industries offering complete value chain solutions starting from research & development, project management, engineering, sourcing, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, dispatch and aftermarket solutions. The company’s business offerings are Technology, Vehicle Cabins, Steel Fabrications and Module/Vehicle Assembly.

Robot welding at Fortaco Estonia

Fortaco Estonia has been using welding robots for 15 years. Fortaco has one of the biggest robotic stations park in Estonia. Now there are 18 Yaskawa and ABB welding robots in the facility. The robots are welding steel components and assemblies for cranes, mining machines, and forest machines.

An ABB robot welding station at Fortaco Narva.

One software for programming both Yaskawa and ABB robots offline

The welding batch sizes are small and there are several OEM customers where Fortaco needs to supply components. The convenient programming method by using a teach pendant on the shop floor is out of question. Stopping robots for programming is not an efficient way of programming the robots in high mix – low volume production. The efficiency of the robots would be lost.

Offline programming is a crucial part of robot welding. To keep the robot uptime high Fortaco is using Delfoi ARC offline programming software for programming both their Yaskawa (Pema) and ABB robot stations. Using just one software for all robot brands makes sense. The company don’t need to maintain multiple software brands and skills to program using multiple software brands. All programming skills are shared with robot operators as they only need to learn one software. Should the amount of different welding robot brands increase in the future, Delfoi ARC supports per today totally 12 different welding robot brands.

Feasibility studies for good accessibility

The company is not using Delfoi ARC for offline programming only, but also for analysing the weldability of the products and feasibility of the robot stations for the products prior to production. This means, a welding robot in a particular welding cell will reach all the welds of assemblies in correct welding position and is able to weld maximal number of welds without need for manual welding.

Benefits in nutshell – uptime typically over 90% for the robots even for small bathes

  • No programming stoppages; high uptime for the robots in low volume high mix production
  • Improved welding quality
  • One software for all brands – one software for all users
  • Fast programming
  • Ability to maximize the amount of robot welded seams by verifying the welding process prior to production
  • Ability to serve more clients; all programs done in advance
  • Welding reporting for quotations