Tube node welding system at Salzgitter Mannesmann Renewables GmbH


Salzgitter Mannesmann AG is a broad-based steel and technology corporation.

As part of the Salzgitter Mannesmann Group, Salzgitter Mannesmann Renewables GmbH specifically coordinates the activities of the Group's own steel producers, pipe and profile manufacturers, as well as the Group's own research institute in the field of offshore wind, in particular in the manufacturing of preliminary products for jacket construction.

For the construction of offshore wind jackets, Salzgitter Mannesmann Renewable will in future rely on automated welding technology from igm.

Offshore wind jackets are steel foundation solutions that are increasingly being used, especially for greater water depths and turbine outputs.

The jacket truss structure is made up of steel tube nodes and tube struts. The useful life of this supporting structure is largely determined by the design of the pipe nodes and the quality of the welding technology. In order to achieve cost-efficient production while at the same time improving the quality of the welded connection, these nodes will in future be welded automatically using robot technology.

Task of the welding robot system:

The aim of the installed welding robot system is the development of an efficient and robust robot-assisted welding technology production of steel pipe nodes as well as the subsequent commercial production for offshore wind jackets and other steel components, e.g. for bridge and crane construction.

In order to enable efficient, defect-free production, the pipe node is guided by a manipulator and by means of a workpiece coordinate system during welding, so that the welding process can be carried out in the PA position, thereby avoiding negative effects of gravity on the melt. With an adaptive process control using the igm iCAM, defect-free welding can be guaranteed, even with increased tolerances. The layer build-up, the selection of parameters and the welding head guidance are carried out by an intelligent control system. For this purpose, special software requirements are placed on the welding system. With the igm iCAM, the weld seam positions and the weld seam volume to be filled are recognized and the welding parameters are set accordingly.

Via an integrated OPC-UA interface, online access to corresponding data of the robot controller is enabled, which includes system variables such as TCP position, corresponding translatory and rotatory position of all axes, as well as all welding parameters. This also allows continuous readout during welding.

Technical data of the welding robot system:

  • Welding robot, 7 axis, with rotary arm und small hand axis, work range 1 .900 mm, Type RTE497-S
  • Longitudinal slide, Type TLA3, carriage way: 8.000 mm
  • Cross slide, Type TQA-300, carriage way: 3.000 mm
  • Vertical slide, Type THA-200, carriage way: 2.000 mm
  • Manipulator with lifting axis, type RMW3-7000, load capacity 7,000 kg, lifting stroke 2,000 mm

The C-frame attached to the manipulator has a faceplate distance of 1,550 to 4,000 mm with an electromotive chuck, designed for workpiece lengths of 1,000 to 3,000 mm and a diameter of 500 mm to 1,200 mm with strut lengths of 500 mm to 1,200 mm.

The maximum workpiece weight is 6,000 kg

We are accompanying Salzgitter Mannesmann Renewables GmbH on this exciting journey to achieve the goals that have been set and also to receive new suggestions and impulses for our development.