A visit by the Bouwen met Staal [Building with Steel] sectoral organisation took place under the theme “Steel construction of the future, already a reality now?” at the Voortman Steel Group’s Voortman Experience Centre on Thursday 6 April last. MSc Engineering and Construsoft also partnered Voortman at the event.
Trends in the field of Smart Industry in steel construction were reviewed against the backdrop of a demonstration of the factory of the future. Here, a model of a steel structure was translated into programs that control the factory automatically. Voortman Steel Group made use of this opportunity to introduce the Fabricator to the visitors: an innovative system that assembles and welds completely automatically. Voortman is able to offer a fully integrated package by linking the Fabricator to other section and plate-processing systems.
Voortman Steel Machinery is responsible for the design and manufacture of the Fabricator. The system consists of a basic frame, three welding robots and one handling robot. The overhead crane places the steel beams in the devices known as section rotators, which can rotate the beam through 270°. A shuttle delivers the plates to the robots, which measure the section and then weld the plates to the beam. Voortman Steel Construction will be putting the Fabricator into production after the summer in order to further test the system in practice. The Fabricator will be ready for sale as from next year.