Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG), an engineering and fabrication contractor for offshore structures to the oil and gas industry, has opened the Heerema Innovation Center.
The new center is located near the Group’s headquarters, in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands.
According to Heerema, the first project for the Heerema Innovation Center is the welding robot, which has been developed in cooperation with Valk Welding.
Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, CEO of HFG said: “This robot does not replace our welders; it complements them. A welding robot will also be installed in our company training school where our welders will learn to work with it. Welders are almost always in short supply. The welding robot enables them to concentrate on the more challenging tasks while the welding robot can be used for other work.”
The company says that the first welding robot works with two welding arms, and it weighs 50 tons. As the company explains, it can’t climb yet, but that will be the next challenge for the Innovation Center where more welding robots will be developed.
“Using the latest 3D and gaming technology, but also smart data processing, we can achieve a lot more,” Van Brouwershaven said.
In addition to welding, scaffolding, glued constructions, and the use of paint will be investigated in the new center.
The center was designed by the architects of BBA Architecten. In the center, more than 1,000 m2 are dedicated to testing rigs and training purposes. The Dutch-based engineering contractor added that, in addition to innovation, the center will be engaged in sharing knowledge by establishing and maintaining links with institutes of technology and universities of applied sciences.