• 2024 June 19 14:32

    Samsung Heavy Industries unveils revolutionary K-PAW welding technology

    The introduction of K-PAW is part of a broader trend towards automation and the integration of advanced technologies in manufacturing

    Samsung Heavy Industries has taken a significant leap in the shipbuilding industry by developing the "Keyhole Plasma Pipe Automatic Welding Equipment (K-PAW)" and applying it to their production site for the first time. This groundbreaking development was announced on June 19 and marks a pivotal moment in the automation of shipbuilding processes, BusinessKorea reported.

    The shipbuilding industry, a cornerstone of global trade and transportation, has long relied on manual welding for pipe construction due to the complexity and precision required. This reliance has led to quality variations depending on the skill level of the worker and has posed challenges in securing highly skilled welders. The urgency to address these issues has intensified with the recent surge in orders for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carriers, which demand extensive and precise pipe welding.

    During a recent on-site application demonstration test, observed by Vice Chairman Chung Sung-an of Samsung Heavy Industries, the efficiency of K-PAW was put to the test. The results were striking: welding a 24-inch pipe, which typically takes 66 minutes manually, was completed in just 20 minutes using K-PAW. This represents a more than threefold increase in welding speed, showcasing the potential for significant productivity improvements.

    Choi Doo-jin, head of the Robotics Business Team at Samsung Heavy Industries, highlighted the importance of this development. "K-PAW is significant as it is the first to achieve automation of the root pass welding, which has been a challenging task in the shipbuilding industry," he stated. This achievement not only addresses the quality and efficiency issues associated with manual welding but also sets a new standard for the industry.

    The introduction of K-PAW is part of a broader trend towards automation and the integration of advanced technologies in manufacturing. Keyhole Plasma Arc Welding (K-PAW) uses a plasma arc to create a keyhole effect, allowing for deeper and more precise welds. This technological advancement is particularly crucial for LNG carriers, which require high standards of safety and efficiency in their construction.

    Samsung Heavy Industries is not stopping at K-PAW. Choi Doo-jin revealed future plans to further enhance automation in their production processes. "We will accelerate the automation and unmanned operation of the site by developing an automatic welding system utilizing AI (Artificial Intelligence) by the end of this year," he announced. This move towards AI-driven automation reflects a growing trend in the industry to improve precision, reduce human error, and increase overall productivity.

    The shift from manual to automated welding has broader implications for the labor market and the economy. While it may lead to job displacement for manual welders, it also creates opportunities for new skills in operating and maintaining automated systems. Moreover, the enhanced productivity and efficiency through automation can bolster a company's competitive edge and profitability in the global market.




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