value added engineering

What you can expect from VAE.

Click on one of the case studies below to get an idea of how ESAB's VAE team can benefit your shop.


GKN Wheels, Denmark

Key product:

Wheel for highway applications


Key product:

Using two robot GMAW stations, including five welding robots and two semi-automatic SAW stations with eight single welding heads, the wheels are welded using the MIG/MAG or SAW method, depending on type, design, and production volume.


Goal for VAE team:

ESAB's goal was to improve productivity in the five existing welding robots. We would be successful if the machine reached a minimum welding speed of 1.0 m/min, producing a fillet weld throat size of about 5 mm.



The most productive result was achieved using the two Origo Mig 6502c choppers with 1.6 mm AristoRod wires and Tubrod wires. As seam tracking was needed for most welded wheels, we needed to find a tracking system that could follow the seam without using weaving. To meet GKN's quality reqirements, we used a tandem welding method with a laser seam tracking system.



By introducing this method, ESAB helped increase the welding speed from 0.5 to 1.0 m/min, going from 9 to 16 kg/h. Other productivity and profitability improvements included:

  • Extra welding capacity of about 30% in total for five welding robots
  • A potential extra production capacity of 52,800 wheels per year
  • If GKN's increased production results in selling an extra 37,500 wheels, the total payoff time equates to less than 5 months