Shiprepair & Maintenance: December 2020
Lithuania-based Western Baltija Shipbuilding (WBS), part of BLRT Grupp’s Western Shipyard, has invested in PEMA VRWP-C, a compact robot solution by Pemamek for micro panel welding.
A decade ago, WBS invested in its first PEMA solution, a PEMA Panel line, and since then has installed PEMA VRWP-X2 and VRMP-C robotic welding portals at its shipyard.
Delivered to the company’s Klaipeda shipyard in early 2019, installation took a couple of days and the company states that the main advantage was replacing manual work, as Vitalij Frolov, Director of WBS, explains: “For us, the compact solution has replaced a lot of manual work. It has been very effective: in one shift, PEMA VRWP-C replaces six to seven people. As we work in two shifts, it can replace up to 14 people and we can arrange those workers for other tasks.”
He adds that the quality of welding has also improved after switching to robotic welding, and overall, the company has achieved visibly positive financial results.
The PEMA VRWP-C is controlled via the PEMA WeldControl 2020 CREATE software, designed in-house by Pemamek, and the company provided WBS operational assistance through its online service, PEMA Helpdesk. WBS says that the Helpdesk’s experts provided advise from pre-design and installation phases to real-time support, with assistance usually supplied within a couple of hours.
According to Frolov, WBS plans to further involve PEMA robotics as it looks to expand and diversify its production: “There will be more and more robotic welding and automated solutions in the future. We have been satisfied with PEMA machinery, and expanding to other PEMA solutions as we potentially expand our own business to new markets is something we will look into.”
WBS’s long-term experience with the technology has carried it through the turbulent year of 2020, as well as its good cooperation with difference clients to maintain a stable workload, Frolov comments:
“Of course, there have been some adjustments during this year. However, we have been able to reduce the risks and have quite a positive year thanks to our wide customer base: even when some markets have had to postpone their investments, we have maintained our production.”