By following market trends, listening to our customers, using our common sense and our expertise, we can offer answers and solutions for the challenges with which we are all faced. We do this by carrying out innovation projects and by working on open innovation. For us, open innovation means that we actively participate and collaborate in innovation projects with customers, suppliers, partners, universities and knowledge institutes.
We are convinced of the necessity of innovation for a healthy future.
Our Research & Development (R&D) department is responsible for developing innovative solutions and for the management of AWL’s product portfolio. We make sure that our customers stay ahead in a world which in the coming years will be dominated by technology, automation, robotics and digitization. That is in our DNA.
Ongoing automation and digitization are changing the nature of production and logistics processes completely. Consider the explosion of data and new computational capabilities, artificial intelligence, the automated factory, e-mobility and human-machine interaction. These and other production technologies transform every link in the production and logistics value chain – from design to service – and unlock tremendous value for us and our customers. Together with you, we organize R&D programs to allow the development of new technologies and applications in our solutions.
We have an Experience Center, of which we are very proud. The center offers the possibility of creating test assemblies and of running trial series and pre-series. Reliable applications are realized based on the newest technologies. We also use it for carrying out welding tests, so that we can validate our customers’ new developments. We thus make it possible to start up new production processes quickly and efficiently.
Moreover, in collaboration with the Fieldlab Industrial Robotics (FIR), we train here robotics technicians and robot engineers. In addition, work is done in the FIR devoted to developing our own personnel for the future and contributing to social development in preparing the industry for robotization. From Harderwijk, we offer not only schools, but also customers the possibility of developing and experimenting with new technologies and applications. The Experience Center is also an ongoing demonstration environment, where you as a supplier can demonstrate technologies to your customers.
Our professionals are convinced that humans will continue to play a crucial role in “smart industry”. In the Experience Center, we are now experimenting with collaborative robots. These robots have been specially designed to work together with humans; robotization is a human effort.
AWL has gained experience with printing metal components in 3D. We want to use this technology increasingly for the production and integration of complex custom components in our machines. This enables us on the one hand to offer customization, and on the other hand to deliver machines faster. AWL is investigating further possibilities for applying 3D metal printing in its machines.
With augmented reality (AR), virtual information is projected over reality. AWL is investigating ways of applying AR in machine building.
The first potential application of AR is now available as a demo. This application can be used to check whether the jig’s cabling is in the right place, and whether it is in the way of the welding torches. AWL also sees augmented reality as a possible solution for smart maintenance by visualizing operator instructions.
Because of the weight reduction in the automotive industry, there is a growing use of aluminum in car bodies and thus also the need for aluminum spot welding.
Spot welding of aluminum is more complex than steel in terms of process window, service life of the electrode, parameter determination and quality control. By expanding our knowledge of these topics, AWL is prepared for future aluminum spot welding projects and we can offer you equipment with reliable processes.