The added value of integrated production in automatic welding and robotic automation.
In this short interview Franco Ortile and Maurizio Bottaro, respectively manager and deputy head of the electronic design and welding transformers departments, introduce us to this precious business department, where technicians, electronic and computer engineers design electronic equipment for the management of resistance welding processes: a particular welding method that allows the coupling of 2 or more metallic materials by process heating created by the electric current that passes through the part to be welded.
Franco tells us what is made in this department for automated metal welding..
"The welding controls are 50/60Hz or medium frequency inverters and coupled with the controls, we design and manufacture our welding transformers: the component mounted on the machine that allows to supply the current necessary for welding. The welding controls interface with the PLCs to automatically perform the welding process and the technical solutions available are different, in order to meet even the most specific needs of LEAS customers. Transformers and controls for resistance welding are the heart of the machine. For this reason, since the company was founded 50 years ago, the transformers were designed and manufactured internally, first relying also on an Italian company for the realization of transformers and welding controls, which was subsequently acquired to design and implement welding controls internally, as well as all the hardware and software design of the plants."
Maurizio explains how the development of new projects takes place.
“The commitment is to always maintain a high level of innovation and sustainability with the aim of offering greater added value to the market and to our customers, also through the use of the latest technologies available on the market, starting from the simplest components up to the most complex processing architectures. A great focus is also on the reuse of data collected by welding controls to increase more and more the potential of supervision of the plants in order to monitor and improve their productivity. In this improvement process, the involvement of the end user in identifying simple and effective choices is of great importance. The resources employed by the company in the planning, organization and procurement of components have made possible to effectively overcome the difficulties related to the availability of components in recent years.”
Franco shows us how the process with which we make these components takes place.
“The process with which these components are made stems from the needs of the market and customers and from the constant feedback with fellow installers directly from the field. The design of the components takes into account the best technologies available on the market with high standards of reliability over time and performance. The electronic boards are tested and assembled to make the finished product.The controls and transformers are subjected to highly selective and stringent tests, which are carried out in a dedicated area and equipped with all the necessary predispositions in terms of power and testing machines. Electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility tests, on the other hand, are carried out in collaboration with certified and accredited external laboratories.”
Maurizio talks about how customer needs are evolving, especially in terms of welding process management and how LEAS is responding to these needs, also anticipating solutions to possible critical issues that may occur.
“There is a great deal of importance that is given to data in order to put the customer in a position to improve production processes and the realization of machines. Among the monitoring points, for example, we find the quality of the finished product, the cost of running the plant, environmental sustainability, plant reliability and predictive maintenance. With regard to this last point, the planning of maintenance interventions and the replacement of wear components is the winning key to always have a fluid, safe and unforeseen production like the always feared plant blocks. In addition, we continue to work on high-tech products for revamping that, in addition to replacing obsolete products, allow us to introduce brand new and modern features even in older machinery and give a second life to all LEAS but also third parties welding systems.”