Smart robotic applications and augmented reality from Napajedla

AWL-Techniek has operated in the Netherlands for a quarter of a century and is one of the world leaders in manufacturing innovations in many industries. Since its inception, Czech representation in Napajedla in the Zlín region has shown great results, thanks to these, Czech Republic representatives are gaining increasingly more autonomy and can determine the direction that they want to go. This is clearly a focus on technologically advanced solutions.

On our journey, we often encounter companies that are very attached to the culture of the working environment and teamwork at all levels. We also increasingly meet people who bring desire to Czech industry to integrate the latest applications and strive to make working conditions more enjoyable for our production colleagues. This is also the case with AWL-Techniek, which is also striving to continuously improve the level of experience and expertise in all sections of the company, while making significant investment in technological equipment, research and development. It develops new technologies for its customers whereby the most advanced applications such as computer vision and quality control, smart robotic applications and augmented reality can be fully utilised. We found the company representative at the stage of working on active implementation of the functional principles of Industry 4.0, including data processing and evaluation, and they openly look forward to being a paperless company.

With AWL from start to finish
AWL primarily focuses on the design, construction and manufacture of fully automated and robotised welding machines. From the very beginning, customers are part of the implementation team and can actively participate in the overall solution. “Others usually refused the orders we started, and we have always moved on with the newly gained experience in their development. Thanks to this, we can now offer highly sophisticated and state-of-the-art technology. At In AWL, we want to take the path of technologically interesting orders with a high technical level. We are with our customers from the design to its commissioning, testing and servicing. Our portfolio mainly consists of deliveries to the automotive segment at the highest imaginable level. Our clients are companies delivering in Tier 1 mode, which commits us to providing excellent quality products and designing smart machine concepts that give customers a strong competitive advantage. This is also reflected in the price, which depends on the fact that we use first-class components, from the first screw to robotisation itself, where we can mention brands such as Fanuc and ABB in the case of cobots or Fronius in the welding field. We want to be sure that our products work long-term for our customers. The quality workmanship regarding the products we supply also depends on state-of-the-art equipment, such as the Hoffmann Group, one of our leading suppliers for equipment for the entire plant. Thanks to all of these factors, we can guarantee positive crash test results to our customers. The modular approach we apply to our machines guarantees users a high standard, as well as our software for machine operation, which is specified by high reliability, intuitive and smart control,” adds Martin Balšán, Operations Manager.

In the automotive industry, the conditions are very volatile and at AWL they therefore try to diversify their operations wherever the utilisation of robots and cobots is sought. Currently, offers are open even in the field of automation, metalworking or plastic processing. “Even in our production, we have the first cobot application, which was invented and implemented in the Czech Republic, without the help of the parent company. Our research and development is constantly striving to improve all our products and applications suitable for the use of cobots. In the Netherlands, a cobot is most associated with the role of Bin Picking, where the robotic arm takes individual parts out of the box, the cobot recognises their shape, colour and accurately oppose them for further use. We are also actively involved in research within autonomous systems. We would like to reach companies in Central Europe with similar applications and help them in the field of robotisation,” says Lukáš Urban, who works in AWL as Operations Excellence Engineer.

Top laboratory and own construction The Experience Centre, located in the Czech Republic, offers the ability to create test reports and run trial as well as pre-production series. Reliable applications are based on the latest technology and knowledge. The centre is also used for testing welds and examining their quality inside. The laboratory is ready to be loaned to the target customer, who can cut the weld and check it with top microscopes in here. Recently, a construction office has become a part of the company, and this is very convenient for reaction time. “We would like to announce that we have a new modern construction. We don‘t just want to be pigeonholed in the automotive segment, we wish to offer engineering to others and participate in assembly equipment. We do not resist co-operation within the exchange of capacities and knowledge with a construction office that is experienced in the field of welding jigs,” adds Martin Balšán. AWL prides itself on its flexibility, modularity and constant efforts to shorten delivery times. Currently, the programme also includes 3D printing, which could significantly help with these steps.

It‘s worth paying more for quality tools The fact that quality products can only be made with the best components and the latest technology was mentioned by AWL representatives at the beginning of the meeting. We wondered how far they were bound by the parent company in the area of suppliers. “We can say that at first we really copied the parent company in the set standards. However, thanks to our own invention and great results, we have gained greater autonomy and we can determine the equipment requirements ourselves and choose which suppliers we will draw from. However, we continue to work with some of the suppliers that the headquarters in the Netherlands have worked with in the long-term. We’ve also been in touch with the Hoffmann Group, and you’ll literally find their products across the entire production, as I previously mentioned. They meet our requirements precisely and therefore we were very pleased to start co-operation with Czech sales representative Igor Baťa regarding equipping the plant with tools, machines and workshop equipment. Of course, we have other such suppliers, but we are very happy that we can increasingly choose direct suppliers based on our decision. There are many great companies in the Czech Republic with whom we like to co-operate and we believe that we will start co-operation with many of them also in the future,” explains Martin Balšán regarding the question about the suppliers.

The young generation needs to be supported
AWL is actively interested in regional events and supports a number of cultural and sporting activities, is a sponsor of the floorball team and regularly organises many public events. A separate chapter is the importance of global support for education and training the younger generation. “We must start working with children from an early age. We can show them interesting fields related to industry and engineering, and gradually prepare them for possible employment in this field. We co-operate with Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín and we believe that this activity is beneficial for both parties. We try to get into students‘ awareness and offer them the possibility of interesting internship at higher and secondary level. We‘re delighted that at AWL people stay even after work, where we have prepared a very nice background that they can use. The essence of successful business is not only behind the desk, but also in relaxed debate and non-violent communication. We strive to be a regionally beneficial company and generally try to engage more strongly in the field of sport. We believe that this way we can attract the young generation to us,” adds Martin Balšán regarding the topic of education.

You can also participate in interesting projects
AWL is a young, dynamic company that is constantly searching for colleagues who are not afraid to work and who want to improve themselves under the guidance of an experienced team of specialists. AWL regularly give information regarding any vacancies on its website as well as through the AWL-Techniek CZ sro Facebook profile, where the company is very active. In addition to practical information, you‘ll also find interesting facts about the life of the company and prospective job seekers can get a great idea of what team to join. Currently there are selection procedures for managerial and technical positions.

AWL at MSV Brno 2019
AWL representatives are planning an interesting exhibition for the visitors at this year's International Engineering Fair in Brno, which is being held from the 7th to 11th of October. You‘ll see see many progressive automated solutions in action as well as increasingly popular cobots, who are becoming more powerful colleagues of many workers in many industries.

AWL-Techniek can be found in Hall G2, under the exhibition number 019.

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AWL-Techniek Holding B.V.