„The Bihler welding laboratory“
Core competence for decades
Whether for a new system or an existing machine, the Bihler welding laboratory develops the best joining solution for any component, no matter what the requirements. In doing so, it taps into the company’s decades of welding expertise and relies on close, long-term partnerships with its customers in order to achieve optimally welded components.
Alongside stamping and bending and assembly technology, welding technology is one of the core competencies of Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik, and the company has been successfully integrating welding processes into its automation solutions for decades. And the Bihler welding laboratory in Halblech plays a key role in this. It is attached to the testing department, but also works closely with the materials technology, sample parts production, tool technology and mechanical engineering departments. The laboratory has been constantly expanded over the decades, and today around ten Bihler welding specialists work there. And their objectives are clear: “We establish the right joining solution for each customer’s component production,” explains Martin Ott, Head of Welding Technology at Bihler. “We use feasibility studies to determine what process is best suited and also provide support in respect of the appropriate material pairing.”
Decades of experience
The feasibility studies often feed into the development of new, innovative Bihler welding technology solutions, for which the Bihler welding laboratory is also responsible. Ott: “Our particular strength is that we can draw on six decades of welding experience. It is a unique wealth of experience, and we also make it available to our customers. Another key aspect is the especially close working relationship we have with our customers, which is based on intensive, collaborative development work for the manufacturing solutions involved.”
For existing and new machines
Bihler’s welding laboratory has all the welding control systems and the associated jigs to hand. They cover all areas of resistance welding: upset, mash-seam, projection and contact welding. In the laboratory, experimental setups are used to determine the welding parameters required for each production solution, both for earlier Bihler welding controllers and for the current Bihler B 20 K controller. These parameters enable components to be manufactured on existing Bihler welding systems, in the simplest case using standard welding heads. Another joining process that is being developed is laser applications. Furthermore, the Bihler welding laboratory of course also develops completely new manufacturing solutions, for example for innovative products in the fields of e-mobility, hydrogen technology and white goods. In this case, customers receive all the equipment including all welding parameters for their solution. The Bihler welding laboratory handles around 30 projects each year, with lead times ranging from a few days to several months.
“Each customer has their own personal contact at Bihler who is there to support them throughout the entire project. The customer has a single source from whom they receive expert advice on all aspects of the process technologies, plant technology and the production of specific components,” explains Ott. “And even after the feasibility study and commissioning, we continue to support the customer on an ongoing basis.” In the long term, this ensures that all users have welding and production solutions that are tailored to their manufacturing needs, delivering maximum process reliability, the highest possible productivity and excellent welding quality.
Head of welding technology