UK-based trailer builder, Cartwright Group, has upgraded its South Manchester production facility by investing in a fully programmable robotic welder.
This major leap forward in Cartwright’s current production process to manufacture components to an exacting tolerance of 0.2mm reportedly allows for consistent quality due to continuous welding capabilities that result in strong, durable finishes.
“The robotic welder, together with investments such as our £1.8 million [€1.9 million] panel press, enables us to keep more of our processes in-house and also increase volume while improving efficiency,” said Cartwright Operations and Manufacturing Director, Paul Avery.
“The quality of components that are welded by the robot is tremendous; the process is repeatable, accurate and produces parts of exceptional structural integrity – which is vital for components such as kingpins, for example.
“It is a completely new way of working and we have had to adapt some of our designs accordingly. We are delighted with the performance of the robot and it is testament to our commitment to continuous improvement that is driving our business forward,” he said.
Cartwright said the robot is operated by two time-served welders, both former apprentices, each having contributed ideas about how to adapt operations to best utilise it. Improvements at the production facility included updating and upgrading the electrical power supply, doubling power capacity of the switching gear from 600kVA (kilo volt amps) to 1200kVA, ahead of the robot installation.
The OEM has also invested in upgraded lifting equipment, including a new vacuum lift that can handle large floors and fibreglass panels gently, to ease the movement of materials around the factory and improve workflow.