Mexican automotive parts supplier Katcon has deployed 27 ABB FlexArc robots at its factory in Warsaw, Poland to help meet growing customer demand for its catalytic converters.
According to the Katcon, it needed to rapidly increase capacity and find an automated welding solution that could be programmed easily to enhance the flexibility of manufacturing at its factory.
ABB’s FlexArc solution has been designed to incorporate everything required for a welding application and, according to supplier, offers superior motion control software, positioner and associated welding equipment, all built on a common platform.
At the Warsaw facility, Katcon uses three types of welding cells, most of which are equipped with variants of the ABB IRB 2600 welding robot. Other cells use the ABB IRB 2600ID robots with Integrated Dressing, which are designed to offer higher agility and work in smaller spaces.
Three types of ABB high-accuracy positioners and other welding equipment are also used in the FlexArc cells.
Katcon said the ABB robots offer flexibility and will allow it it to ramp up or scale down production, thereby maximising operational efficiency.
ABB designed the welding cell for Katcon at its Robotics Application Centre in the Czech Republic, and can replicate the cell to increase capacity if required.
Unlike other welding solutions that need to be created from scratch, Katcon operators can upload programmes from a previous work cell on to a new ABB FlexArc, using the same jig design.
Furthermore, one FlexArc welding cell can be adapted for other products. And, depending on the forecast by the end customer, Katcon can set up the welding process and use as many or as few FlexArcs as it needs.
According to ABB, the flexibility of the welding cell allows the company to use the same jig to make products for different customers with minimum changes to the design.
“If a customer wants more products, Katcon only has to make a few changes to the basic frame of the jig and can start production instead of having to change the entire design, which can take up to a couple of months and often exceeds the expense of the entire robotic cell,” said Tomas Kostovcik, sales manager at ABB.
Katcon said it plans to order additional ABB products for its upcoming factories.