The Heerema Innovation Center’s first project is the welding robot, which has been developed by Valk Welding together with HFG.
“This robot does not replace our welders; it complements them,” said Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, CEO of HFG. “A welding robot will also be installed in our company training school, where our welders will learn to work with it.
“Welders are almost always in short supply. The welding robot enables them to concentrate on the more challenging tasks, while the welding robot can be used for other work.”
The first welding robot has two welding arms and weighs 50 metric tons (55 tons). Currently unable to climb, HFG said that will be the next challenge for the Innovation Center as it develops more welding robots.
Van Brouwershaven sees many more opportunities for the Innovation Center. “Using the latest 3D and gaming technology, but also smart data processing, we can achieve a lot more,” he said.
Gert-Jan van Noordt is in charge of the center’s daily operation. In addition to welding, scaffolding, glued constructions, and the use of paint will be investigated.
The Heerema Innovation Center has more than 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) dedicated to test rigs and training purposes, and HFG said it will be the origination hub for all its future products and methods.
The center will establish and maintain links with institutes of technology and universities of applied sciences.