Product Applications – Custom Built Systems

Gullco KAT Travel Carriage and KAT Seam Tracker Automated Welding: Case Study of Caterpillar Stockton Ltd. Of UK M.I.G. / M.A.G. Welding Applications

Product Applications - Custom Built Systems

Product Application File – Kat-Trackers at Caterpillar Stockton

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The Caterpillar Stockton (UK) Ltd. Plant selected Gullco International (UK) Limited to supply weld automation equipment/ systems to improve quality and efficiency in a variety of M.I.G/ M.A.G. welding applications. Gaffney Industrial and Welding Supplies Ltd. Was chosen to support the sale and later service the Gullco equipment.

Image to the left: Gullco equipment used to automate and improve productivity in side panel welding at Caterpillar.

Dual torches guided by Gullco Kat-Trackers simultaneously weld both sides of the work piece
Dual torches guided by Gullco Kat-Trackers simultaneously weld both sides of the work piece.

One of the applications involved Side Panel welding utilizing a twin torch system. The scope of supply was for 4 complete, custom designed welding machines to be used for different jobs at the Caterpillar Stockton works facility. The unit pictured above shows a large Gullco travel carriage complete with wire feed units, fume extraction equipment, control equipment and two.

Gullco Kat-Tracker seam trackers. ITW, Miller welding torches were selected for these demanding welding applications. Fume extraction equipment was supplied by Nederman. These large 6 to 12 meter long turnkey units were assembled totally in-house at Gullco’s Appley Bridge, UK facility from 60% standard Gullco products. This enabled Gullco to meet critical delivery deadlines established to ensure Caterpillar production schedules were maintained. The machines are controlled by Mitsubishi PLC’s programmed by Gullco (UK).

Product Applications - Custom Built Systems

Gullco Kat-Tracker seam trackers. ITW, Miller welding torches were selected for these demanding welding applications. Fume extraction equipment was supplied by Nederman. These large 6 to 12 meter long turnkey units were assembled totally in-house at Gullco’s Appley Bridge, UK facility from 60% standard Gullco products. This enabled Gullco to meet critical delivery deadlines established to ensure Caterpillar production schedules were maintained. The machines are controlled by Mitsubishi PLC’s programmed by Gullco (UK).

Dual torches are used in these machines to substantially increase productivity and improve efficiency by welding two sides of a component simultaneously.

Product Applications - Custom Built Systems Gullco Kat-Tracker probe with replaceable tip can be seen in the bottom left of the photo. They are precisely positioned relative to the torch prior to operation using a micro-cross-slide
Product Applications - Custom Built Systems GBM-28-U produces clean machined bevels on the underside of plate at up to 2 meters per minute using the rotary shear method of metal removal.

Product Applications - Custom Built Systems

Welding accuracy and quality are dependent on precise seam tracking and a reliable electrical interface of all the components via the PLC. In order to meet the production and quality requirements at Caterpillar, the Gullco Kat-Tracker WSG-1200 was selected. These tactile seam trackers continually sense the slightest variation across the weld seam and automatically correct the position of the weld torch. They provide precise right/left and vertical/horizontal tracking plus automatic tack detection and end-of-plate detection. In total, eight Gullco Kat-Trackers were used in the 4 Machines. Some use 100mm x 100mm Slides where the work piece is approximately parallel to the fixture and each joint is approximately parallel to the other. In other cases the trackers were supplied with 150mm x 350mm slides to accommodate tapered work pieces.

As part of this project, Caterpillar purchased a Gullco GBM-28-U high speed portable, self propelled plate edge beveling machine. It is used to produce a clean machined bevel with no thermal distortion on thick sections plate at 2m/min. This beveler with adjustable beveling head can produce bevel angles 22 1/2 through 55.

Image to the Left: The rotary shear principle incorporated by this machine results in low noise/ vibration and high speed operation. This GBM-28-U unit bevels the under side of the plate.


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