Canvas Category: Machinery : Industrial Robot : Robot Welding
Lincoln Electric was founded on December 5, 1895, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. An initial $200 investment was used to develop and commercialize a unique, direct current electric motor for industrial applications. What started as a spark of ingenuity flickered and gained momentum. By 1911, John C. and James F. Lincoln invented and launched their first variable voltage arc welder, an innovation that catapulted Lincoln Electric into a new technology and industry that would drive its future success. Each founding brother shaped the organization and left a distinct legacy that continues to define our culture, values and brand today. 125-years later, Lincoln Electric has become the global leader in arc welding and cutting, and is renowned as The Welding Experts® worldwide. With the industry’s leading team of experts and most comprehensive portfolio of solutions, we continue to advance innovation and deliver measurable value to our customers and their operations. We also remain true to our guiding principle, “The Golden Rule,” and share a purpose of operating by a higher standard to build a better world. By aligning all of our stakeholders’ interests through our unique, performance-based incentive management system, we continue to generate value and pursue long-term success.
A $12 billion manufacturing powerhouse has avoided layoffs for 70 years while dominating its industry—but good luck replicating its formula
The Lincoln Electric system, known internally as “the program,” is radical and deceptively simple. Production employees agree to let Lincoln increase or decrease their standard 40-hour workweek within limits based on customer demand. They get paid by piecework instead of the hour and receive a year-end bonus reflecting each worker’s performance. The company, in turn, pledges not to lay them off for lack of business.
The program doesn’t rely on magic. Workers pay a price for job security. The welding business booms and busts, and in downturns, the company can cut workers’ hours to as little as 75% (30 hours) of the workweek. In booms, workers must accept overtime to meet demand, but their pay also increases. The employee benefit in either scenario is that they keep their jobs.
The upside for the company is that it can instantly adjust output and tweak its labor costs more easily and quickly than most employers. “Our team makes adjustments daily, right on the shop floor,” Mapes says. “Our ability to flex what looks like fixed cost and make it more variable on a daily shift-by-shift basis gives us a huge competitive advantage.”
How the industrial metaverse will transform manufacturing
Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. is one of the world’s largest makers of welding equipment, with more than 42 manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America — and its business depends on making sure enough welders are certified to use its equipment. For that reason, it felt it needed a school to train workers — but traditional training was slow, expensive and cumbersome. So it turned to technologies more often associated with consumer gaming: virtual reality and the metaverse. Now, trainees don VR headsets to do virtual welds, and they get immediate feedback in an immersive environment on how straight their pipe or sheet metal welds are. If they mess up, they can simply reset the virtual system instantly and keep getting better, and they don’t have to waste materials in repeated attempts. Once they’ve learned to do it right, they apply those skills in actual welding using Lincoln’s gear. The result: Lincoln Electric discovered that it could train welders in 23% less time. And more skilled welders means a larger potential market for its welding gear. “Virtual reality can reduce time while increasing the proficiency of training programs,” Randal Kenworthy, senior partner at technology consulting firm West Monroe, which has Lincoln as a client, told SiliconANGLE.
In order to see the benefits of training in the metaverse, Lincoln Electric and Iowa State University compared two groups, one that did entirely traditional hands-on training and one that did half hands-on and half VR welding. The results showed that welders who did the VR training had significantly higher levels of learning and team interaction, with a 41.6% increase in overall certification over the traditional group. And besides the 23% less time spent in overall training than the traditional group, using VR also greatly reduced training costs by $243 per student, because they could start over each time without wasting materials or losing time reassembling.
In the past four years, VR training has become even more prevalent across manufacturing — for example in automotive and aviation, where workers repeat rote steps on factory floors or even interact with robots. BMW uses VR to train multiple employees at once. Volkswagen AG formed a global initiative with 10,000 employees. Aviation manufacturing giant The Boeing Co. cut training time by 75% with VR. Aeronautics companies also use metaverse technologies to train pilots in the air, spurred by a pilot shortage that began with the pandemic. Loft Dynamics AG has been using VR simulators to train helicopter operators in the U.S., cutting air-time training by as much as 60%.
Lincoln Electric Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Fori Automation, Inc.
The acquisition will accelerate Lincoln’s Higher Standard 2025 strategic goal of achieving $1 billion in automation sales by 2025 with the addition of new and innovative automated capabilities including large-scale assembly, automated material handling solutions and end of line testing systems. These complementary solutions will extend Lincoln’s market presence within the attractive automotive sector, better position Lincoln Electric to capitalize on accelerating investments in automotive EV platforms, and offer cross-selling growth opportunities to Lincoln’s industrial customers. The acquisition would also extend Lincoln’s automation footprint in South Korea and India and expand Lincoln’s existing presence in Europe, China and Latin America. The Fori Automation acquisition is expected to increase Lincoln Electric’s annual automation sales by approximately $225 million at comparable EBIT margins to Lincoln Electric’s current automation portfolio, and is expected to be accretive to earnings.
Robot 3D Printing Makes Giant Industrial Mixer Blade
🖨️ Lincoln Electric Works With Chevron to Accelerate Refinery Maintenance Using Lincoln Electric’s 3D Metal Printing Solution
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., (Nasdaq LECO) – Lincoln Electric utilized its proprietary large-scale, metal 3D printing solution to deliver just-in-time parts to Chevron USA, Inc. to help bring a refinery back online according to schedule. During a recent routine maintenance shutdown, extended lead times and supply chain delays on traditionally manufactured parts challenged Chevron’s planned restart schedule. Chevron’s Additive Engineering team worked with Lincoln Electric to get back on schedule using additive manufacturing to print critical replacement parts that would meet production and quality standards.
The two teams worked together, along with industry experts from Stress Engineering Services, Inc., to print eight nickel alloy replacement parts that averaged approximately 3 ft. (0.9 m) in length and over 500 lbs. (226 kg) each in a total of just 30 days.
Robotic 3D manufacturing providing greater flexibility
Robots are extending their reach. These multiaxis articulators are taking 3D manufacturing and fabrication to new heights, new part designs, greater complexity and production efficiencies. Integrated with systems to extend their reach even further, their flexibility is unmatched. Robots are virtually defying gravity in additive manufacturing (AM), tackle complex geometries in cutting, and collaborate with humans to improve efficiencies in composite layup. This is the future of 3D.
3D printing is already a multibillion-dollar industry, with much of the activity focused on building prototypes or small parts made from plastics and polymers. For metal parts, one additive process garnering lots of attention is robotic wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM).