Resource Type: Success Story

Weld Sequencer Provides Production Efficiencies for Leading Forklift Manufacturer

About Crown Equipment

For more than 50 years, Crown Equipment has been a leading manufacturer of world-class forklift and material handling equipment. With operations that span the globe, Crown designs, manufactures, distributes, services and supports products that revolutionize the material handling industry.

The Challenge

During a recent round of new product releases, Crown engineers at the company’s facility in Greencastle, Indiana, needed a more efficient system to handle the extremely tight tolerances of their fabrication process. With new forklift frames requiring a variety of weld and assembly steps, Crown engineers needed a solution to help eliminate as much variation as possible.

The Answer

After a full demonstration of Lincoln Electric’s Weld Sequencer™ solution, Crown quickly realized that this technology provided the type of systematic process control required by these new additions to the product line. Integrated directly into the welding cell, the user-friendly graphic interface provides operators with step-by-step guidance for even the most complex weld assemblies.
Using a simple LCD monitor mounted near the workpiece, Crown implemented the Weld Sequencer software to visually guide their operators through each step of the fabrication process. In addition to providing visual verification of weld placement and part orientation, Weld Sequencer also automatically controlled the power source so the right settings were programmed for each weld.This helped to ensure that each and every weld was made in the proper sequence with the proper settings.

“The beauty of the Weld Sequencer is that it steps the operator through the entire process, making sure they stay on track with the sequence.”

Dan Miller, Crown Manufacturing Engineer

The Results

It didn’t take long for Crown to see the results. After implementing Weld Sequencer, the Greencastle team experienced process improvements and a boost in overall production efficiency, all very much valued by Crown’s engineering team. In addition to greatly improving product consistency, the Weld Sequencer has also proven helpful in training new operators—an important cost-saving factor.

“Before, when we were training a new operator, someone would have to mentor them for several weeks,” says Dan Miller, manufacturing engineer at Crown. “Now all we have to do is teach somebody to use a Weld Sequencer, and then provide support when it’s needed.”

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MetalCraft Marine Charts a Course for Improved Productivity and 
Energy Efficiency

About MetalCraft Marine

MetalCraft Marine is a Kingston, Ontario-based integrated designer and builder of custom, high-performance aluminum work boats for government agencies in North America and globally. Customers include: the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and various local and regional port authorities.

The Challenge

Five years ago, MetalCraft Marine needed a welding equipment upgrade. Old machines were failing and downtime was on the rise. In addition, inefficiencies in energy consumption forced the company to run nearly half the machines that their workload required.

The boat-building company wanted to increase reliability, lower operating costs and drive process efficiency. They also had to achieve all of this without disrupting service on its industry-leading 10-year warranty on hull seams.

The Answer

Lincoln Electric’s Power Wave® S350 welding power source, along with the Power Feed® 25M wire feeder, dramatically improved energy efficiency and production. Today, MetalCraft runs eight machines at a time rather than just four.

“We were able to double our weld output per day – or even tripled it in some cases – because the machines only drew between eight and 12 amps most of the time, so our house power didn’t need to be adjusted.”

Michael Allen – MetalCraft general manager

The improvements went beyond the new equipment. MetalCraft also benefited from Lincoln Electric’s technical welding support and onsite education.

“Lincoln spent a great deal of time with us, spec’ing out exactly what we needed,” said Allen. “And then when we brought the equipment on board, they spent four or five months returning periodically to work with our welders to bring them up to speed and identify any tweaks that could be made – both in terms of the equipment itself and the peripheral equipment, such as the welding guns. They worked very closely with us to redefine our welding procedures to take full advantage of the new and more advanced equipment.”

The Results

“The quantifiable and dramatic improvements were almost immediate,” said Allen. “The Lincoln equipment, and the consulting advice that came with it, probably enabled us to improve our aluminum welding efficiency by 20 percent. That’s a 20 percent reduction in the time it takes to build a boat. Those machines all paid for themselves in less than a year…The end result was less rework, better appearance, fewer quality inspections required, and improved efficiencies as well.”

The utility savings enabled MetalCraft to double its welding capacity. The increased capacity equated to an increase in sales by more than 300 percent over the past five years.

“We have good procedures identified in preset user memories, and that makes it easier,” said Allen. “You can program the setting you want. So, the guy just has to press a button or two and everything gets set up. He’s not tweaking the controls. Plus, it has a couple settings on it that make it easier for a relatively new person to use compared to an experienced person, and still get good results.”

Upgrade to Advance Welding Technology Contributes to Company’s Productivity

About Morbark

Morbark, headquartered in Winn. Michigan, has been serving the forestry, recycling, and biomass industries for over 60 years. From its humble roots as a simple blacksmithshop to their current 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing complex, Morbark has made a name for itself as a leading manufacturer of high-quality tree chippers, stump grinders and more.

The Challenge

With products weighing in at 56 tons, and fabrication schedules ranging anywhere from two hours up to four weeks, Morbark’s welding performance and efficiency are imperative to the company’s overall success. With an installation base of primarily older SCR (silicon -controlled rectifier) welding equipment, the company realized it was time to explore newer, more efficient welding technology as they continued to strive for maxim um production performance.

The Answer

Utilizing their long-time partnership, Morbark relied on local Lincol n Electric Sales Reps to introduce the latest technology that Lincoln Electric had to offer. After reviewing the late st Power Wave® advanced process welders, Morbark quickly realized upgrading their installation base with these advanced welders was the way to go.

The Results

It didn’t take long for the company to realize the considerable energy savings these new inverter-based powers sources provided. In addition to energy savings, Morbark experienced significant production improvements thanks to Power Wave’s Waveform Control Technology®, allowing them to use advance pulsed waveforms for improved heat input control – helping prevent distortion, as well as burn through on their thinner materials.

Morbark also quickly discovered the benefits Lincoln Electric’s CheckPoint® production monitoring technology – a standard feature on every Power Wave® system. This cloud-based production monitoring tool allowed key welding personnel to remotely monitor productivity of each machine, evaluate individual welder arc-on time andanalyze short- and long-term production stats.

We use more than 75 different welding procedure settings and the monitoring allows us to uniformly control the machines across the boards and create consistency between welders

Barry Sellers, Morbark Production Supervisor