Insights overview

Welding robot at NTS CombiMetaal promoting knowledge sharing

Blog
- January 3, 2024

Working as efficiently, optimally and precisely as possible. That’s what the ValkWelding welding robot is going to do at NTS in Eindhoven. A test group is hard at work training the robot to be the ideal colleague. “Competition for our welders? The opposite actually! We’ll let the robot do all the boring jobs!” says Peter van Hoof, Business Group Manager at NTS in Eindhoven, laughing. What he thinks the welding robot’s biggest advantage is? It will expand the team’s capacity and free up colleagues to focus on knowledge sharing even more.

Advantages of the welding robot

A welding robot will put NTS in a position to offer customers a shorter time-to-market, guarantee the quality of its products and make series-assembly prices more attractive. Relatively fewer mistakes will be made too, which will reduce product and raw-material wastage. So, there are no end of advantages that will enable NTS to improve the service it gives customers even more. However, the knowledge sharing that the welding robot will set in motion is much more important.

Peter explains: “One great thing about the welding robot is the possibility to program it offline. Although it’s great that the robot carries on welding while you’re programming it – which eliminates downtime – what’s even better is that our colleagues in the Czech Republic and Singapore want to grow in this area as well and we’ll be able to learn from each other. A test group consisting of NTS colleagues from different locations was set up recently to encourage this growth. It will allow us to learn from each other through trial and error and, by doing this, discover the best way to use the welding robot.”

The welding robot isn’t our biggest asset, our people are.”

Peter van Hoof
Business Group Manager CombiMetaal at NTS

State-of-the-art test group

Peter also refers to the members of the test group as the ‘masters of sheet metal’. They meet regularly to discuss insights and solve problems together. Peter: “ For example, a group of us recently visited our colleagues at NTS in the Czech Republic to see how they work there. But we also use our meetings to discuss new findings that we might have seen at trade fairs, for example. Working together, we are able to expand our knowledge base and broaden our development.”

This paves the way for NTS to excel not just in technology and machines but in people too. Which is exactly what we set out to achieve in the 2022 sheet metal roadmap. State-of-the-art metalworking is the goal and the roadmap identifies the machines and other types of capital necessary to achieve it. Knowledge sharing has a very prominent role to play in this process.

Achieving more together

We firmly believe that we achieve more together. For example, Eindhoven regularly absorbs peaks from other NTS locations, successes are celebrated and colleagues are now working together to share knowledge about the new ValkWelding welding robot. NTS colleagues will never stop learning because the strides being made with AI will result in the development of welding robots that are smarter and, as such, more complex as well.

Peter: “Our added value lies in our ability to collaborate. By learning from each other, we will be able to continue to offer customers the quality they have come to expect from us. If we maintain this approach, customers will continue to view us as a one-stop shop. And that’s exactly what we want.”

All in all, we’re well on the way to making the welding robot an integral part of the team and continuing to broaden the knowledge base we have in-house.

NTS
Accelerating the future
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