Kvaerner Masa-Yards Licenses Shipbuilding Atomation

Friday, October 10, 2003
Kvaerner Masa-Yards (KMY) has signed a cooperation and licensing agreement for its newly developed and implemented automatic vision guided robot welding system with Pemamek Oy Ltd, a recognized Finnish welding automation supplier operating in international markets with main cooperation partner Esab. The new successful applications of machine vision guided robotics have opened a new era in the shipbuilding process. In the fabrication or welding of hull parts and subassemblies the current pre-programming times have been reduced to zero and no CAD models are needed. New technology allows even unmanned production (in night shift). World record level arc and utility time ratios have been achieved. This has resulted in improved and stable quality and productivity. The new applications are universal and applicable for most types of ship structures, not only for those of cruise ships. Kvaerner Masa-Yards' research and develpopment work and applications in the production have been carried out during 2001 and 2002 in cooperation with the main supplier Pemamek Oy Ltd working together with Master Automation Group Oy and Lappeenranta University of Technology. The application and training part was financially supported by TEKES, National Technology Agency of Finland. The license agreement covers a state of art robot welding system controlled by an advanced machine vision guided programming system instead of off-line or pre-programmed systems. The system is based on highly sophisticated computer software applications which get their input from machine vision. Several patents are pending for new applications of the ships inner hull and accommodation structures for the cutting, welding and finishing of the structural elements and components. The introduction of vision guided robotics helps the shipyard to achieve high productivity and high return on investment. It also eliminates strict CAD/CAM integration requests in the areas of hull parts fabrication and sub-assembly.

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