FAST Global Solutions Speeds Quality Production with Large Robotic Welder
GLENWOOD, Minn. (Oct. 4, 2016) – FAST Global Solutions, manufacturer of WASP ground support equipment for the airline and air cargo industries, recently added a room-sized
robotic welder to one of its manufacturing facilities in Glenwood, Minnesota. FAST purchased the welder, the CLOOS Q1501008 E-Large System with two robots, to support increased global demand for FAST products.
“At FAST, we believe in meeting customer needs by holding to our core values of quality, safety and custom engineering,” said Eric Kolstoe, FAST’s vice president of manufacturing. “Our line of WASP ground support equipment is known around the world for quality, and the CLOOS robotic welder ensures consistent quality and faster production times.”
CLOOS makes identical welds on each piece of equipment, which increases service life and confirms consistent quality. The robotic welder also can be programmed to do 3D spatial checks prior to placing every weld. The checks act as a second set of eyes, allowing the team to see that welds are correctly positioned on the seams every time.
The robot supplements FAST’s growing welding team in Glenwood. Welders program the robot to handle long, standard welds since it can manage that in a fourth of the time as can be done otherwise. The skilled team tackles shorter, more complex and customized welds. The combination ensures quality products that are completed quickly.
FAST’s team of nearly 100 welders, who are certified by the American Welding Society, participated in classroom training on the robotic welder, where they learned basic concepts and operational safety measures as well as practiced service protocols. After completing the classroom training, welders transitioned to on-the-job training to refine their programing skills.
“This machine is a major step in the plan to continually introduce advanced technology throughout FAST’s manufacturing facilities,” Kolstoe said. “It’s been a great addition to our gamut of high-tech manufacturing equipment, which increases capacities while continuing to ensure the level of quality synonymous with the FAST name.”
Since FAST added its first robotic welder in 2003, the company has been introducing larger units and more pieces of high-tech manufacturing equipment to enhance productivity and quality. The CLOOS welder joins a manufacturing fleet that includes plasma laser cutters, large-scale press brakes, automated powder-coat painting lines and more to support providing quality equipment quickly.
FAST has grown by more than 70 percent in the past two years to meet the needs of its growing customer base. Company growth has come through advancements of technology in manufacturing equipment as well as 200,000 square feet in additional manufacturing space. FAST, a 100 percent employee-owned company, continues to add employee-owners to meet production demands.