Innovation in the Danish wind energy sector

Danish developed robot will ensure sustainability, better work environment and low production costs in the green ...

Danish developed robot will ensure sustainability, better work environment and low production costs in the green transition.

The Danish welding robot company Uniwelco, together with Bladt and Valmont, has received DKK 7 million from the Ministry of Energy to make wind turbines cheaper by increasing the use of welding robots. In addition to making wind power cheaper, it will also improve the working environment and reduce the current shortage of well-trained welders.

Danish suppliers must remain competitive in the global market

Even though many large Danish welding workplaces, such as shipyards has closed, Denmark is still successful in welding offshore foundations, wind turbine towers and other large components for the wind industry. If these jobs are to remain in Denmark, it is necessary that industry remains at the forefront of automation and robotization.

Where many other welding tasks today are routinely solved by robots, the large components for wind turbines have proven to be very difficult to get robots to make. Firstly, it is too complicated to move the heavy wind turbine parts to fixed welding robots, and in addition, no two turbine towers are exactly the same - which is why the robot has to adjust the movement to each weld. To overcome these issues, this project will use relatively small robots, which in turn can easily be moved to the large items to be welded together.

"Now that the items have become so large that they are too cumbersome to move around with - we thought that we had to make a more agile robot that was easy to move to the items", says the director of Uniwelco, Lars Jakobsen.

In connection with the project, Uniwelco is making a completely new way of programming the robots, to make it both fast to program, and at the same time ensured that the welding is perfectly adapted to the individual component. The project will contribute to the continued innovation in the Danish wind energy sector and help Danish suppliers to remain competitive in the global market.

Wind energy production must be more sustainable

In order for wind energy to be considered sustainable in every way, it is necessary to continuously improve working conditions while improving productivity and reducing energy costs. When the welds are performed with a robot, all the sustainable elements are improved by improving the working environment, achieving a productivity increase and lower power consumption.

"We see great potential in using collaborative robots in the wind industry, not only to reduce production costs, but also to improve working conditions for welders," continues Lars Jakobsen.

Since Danish Universal Robots introduced their collaborative robot, this type of robot has gained ground in welding robots.

Uniwelco started out as a project in Svejsehuset A/S in 2017, and won IDA's Industry 4.0 SME award for their robot. The company focuses on the development of welding robots built around a Universal Robot robot arm. Since its inception, Uniwelco has delivered 100 welding robots. Collaborative welding robots require no shielding and are easy to program, allowing small forging workshops to automate their production.



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