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First automated system to weld vessels

Engineers from the University of Vigo participate in a European Project for designing the first system totally automated of welding hulls that will allow the sector to reduce costs, to speed up process and to improve the final quality and the workers conditions. The final aim is the technological confidence to increase the competitiveness face to countries as Japan, China or South Korea. The professor Enrique Ares manages the Group from Vigo that participate in this initiative head by the private investigation Spanish group Tecnalia that take part in this initiative and in which Universities of Nantes (France) and Cardiff (United Kingdom) are also collaborating, as well as the Portuguese Welding Institute and the French shipyard STX.

After almost two years of work, the project is in experimental stage and researchers work in Nantes with two archetypes: one of them based in a robot and the other in a cart. During following months they must decide which is the most suitable system to use as portable welding machine that will allow the on line control and the parameters and trajectory adjustment.

Ares emphasizes that the nowadays welding process need "an important change", because most of them are manual which means inaccuracy and lack of security for workers. "Tasks made over the vessel are really complex because there are difficult accessibility or stay areas and because most of the operations are made out in the open", he explains.
Source: FARO DE VIGO

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