ORBIMAT 180 SW welds stainless steel valve manifolds for the beverage industry

Lower production- and service costs - better quality and reliable documentation

Orbital welding technology in the food and beverage industry

 

STW is one of the few European manufacturers of the most modern technology for the beverage industry. The medium-sized company is a world leader, especially with components for everything to do with stainless steel piping. Thousands of welds per valve node are realized economically and reliably with orbital technology from Orbitalum. The new 180 SW power source, which is suitable for Industry 4.0, is now used.

 

In the food and beverage industry, process technology is not just about the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the systems, but also about maintaining high hygiene standards. A large number of valves ensure the correct inflow and outflow of liquid media. Today, so-called valve nodes dominate, which the manufacturer already builds individually into complete units from fitting pieces, pipes and valves.

"This is exactly what we have specialized in and supply plant manufacturers all over the world," explains STW Managing Director Georg Slavik. His customers come from the food and beverage industry, but also from the pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing sectors as well as the chemical industry. Since the founding year 2000, the certified welding company has focused on the special requirements in stainless steel pipeline construction according to AD 2000-Merkblatt HP 0 / HP 100 R / DIN EN ISO 3834-2. "We manufacture such process systems, plan stainless steel pipelines according to the highest quality requirements and implement customer-specific valve manifolds, for example for breweries and beverage manufacturers."

The approximately 60 STW employees build a good 150 of these complex assemblies each year. "They can cost a high six-figure amount," says production manager Andree Müller.

 

No welding without set parameters

While the stainless steel pipes were previously welded to the valve housings and flanges by hand, STW has been using orbital welding technology from the Singen-based manufacturer Orbitalum for a number of years. Müller: “With this technology we achieve a consistently good quality of the weld seams because it has no problems with fatigue or concentration. We relieve our welders of the routine so that they can concentrate fully on the production monitoring. ”Now Orbitalum area sales manager Josef Heckl has convinced him of the new power source 180 SW. "It is suitable for Industry 4.0 because, for the first time, it is possible to digitally network man and machine with comprehensive documentation."

This intelligent welding power source combines the orbital welding process with the latest information and communication technology and ensures the best welding results, high economic efficiency, sustainable quality management and remarkable process reliability. Heckl: “The seamless data recording and backup in the customer's LAN bring a high level of transparency, as required by Industry 4.0. All data can be saved in the internal system memory and on an external USB data carrier. ”In addition to the basic parameters relevant to welding technology such as the gas used, pipe diameter, material and wall thickness, the customer can specify other data, e.g. the operator, the gas supplier, the component manufacturer etc. "The ORBIMAT 180 SW only starts the welding process when the required information is available".

 

Better planning: online access to projects and parameters

The 180 SW can be integrated into the customer network via the integrated LAN and WLAN interface: The entire welding process can be tracked immediately because operators, work planners and quality assurance personnel have access to projects and data at any time via different user levels. All welding data and programs for each individual weld can be called up and documented without gaps, can be analyzed and adopted or optimized for future welds.

Production processes can thus be planned better and are also safer and more cost-effective and time-saving. The central data pool makes it possible to access all variables of the ORBIMAT power sources in the network. The 180 SW is therefore an important component in the development of more sustainable quality management. 4 USB ports also open up future-oriented connectivity.

 

Better operation: Intuitive and multilingual menu interface

"Our employees now swear by the easy and safe operability of the Orbitalum system," says STW production manager Andree Müller. The ORBIMAT 180 SW is operated via the large 12.4 “color touch display or, alternatively, with the multifunctional rotary actuator known from the automotive sector. The graphics-supported, multilingual menu interface enables simple and intuitive operation and parameterization of the welding power source. Important commands can be called up directly via softkeys. The new ORBIMAT works with an operating system that

Even after abrupt system shutdowns and power failures, such as those that occur on construction sites, it starts up again cleanly without data loss. "That gives us the highest possible level of safety in production," says Müller. “Thanks to the integrated auto-programming function with many stored welding programs, we usually have an optimization requirement of less than 10%. With just a few test welds, we quickly achieve the best welding results. "

 

Lower production and service costs

The ORBIMAT 180 SW increases the efficiency in processes also due to the digital and precise welding gas control. This enables welds with the highest level of purity with low gas requirements, which lowers the costs per weld. The gas quantity values ​​stored in the welding program thus lead to good reproducible welding results.

The automatic rotor stop function results in greater safety: If the welding head rotor is prevented from rotating automatically due to sluggishness or an obstacle, the power source immediately stops the rotor movement of the welding head thanks to the torque control. This results in a significantly longer service life of the welding head and significantly lower service costs. Expensive production downtimes due to rejects are avoided.

 

Shorter welding cycles and more productivity

In order to minimize the gas pre-flow and post-flow times, Orbitalum has integrated a flow-force function that significantly shortens the welding process when using closed welding heads: the digital gas control directs shielding gas with a very high volume flow from the pressure reducer into the welding head - the unwanted residual oxygen is flushed out abruptly. The resulting reduced pre- and post-flow times result in significantly shorter process times, use less shielding gas and thus increase productivity.

In addition, the welding electrode has a longer service life. The optionally adjustable permanent gas function prevents oxygen from penetrating the welding head, even during non-productive times. As a result, the ORBIMAT system achieves almost tarnish-free seams with low process times.

"We use four different ORBIWELD welding heads for our different pipe diameters, with which we can process pipe diameters from 3 to 170 mm," says Müller. As with all ORBIMAT power sources, the 180 SW also automatically detects the connected head, so that the operator only has to call up his predefined welding program and start the process before starting welding.

 

Elegant housing for easy handling

In keeping with the modern production environment, the ORBIMAT 180 SW is housed in an elegant and practical housing with handles integrated on the sides. Connections on the front and rear of the device are set back and protected from mechanical damage. The hinged lid with its large color display protects the operating elements, the system printer and the rotary actuator when closed.

"While around 20 years ago, when we started using orbital welding technology, more than 70% of the tubes were welded by hand, today we speak of less than 5% manual work," says Orbitalum Area Sales Manager Josef Heckl. Andree Müller confirms this: “We only do the few individual welds by hand. In contrast, there are over 100,000 orbital sutures a year. "