One major target in shipbuilding is to join large deck sections, preferably by applying automated processes. Therefore, it is necessary to optimize the wall thickness of the individual section areas. Such a task is only possible by using state-of-the-art milling and joining techniques.


The Gräbener TWP®-system implements such techniques. Important advantages in view of productivity, quality of weld seams and fitting accuracy for the subsequent assembly can be achieved with the help of modern joining techniques such as laser- or laser-hybrid welding. The main focus when manufacturing "Tailor Welded Plates" is the plate edge preparation using Graebener plate edge milling machines and profile milling machines and the joining of plates. Thus, Gräbener Maschinentechnik has not merely gained some reputation, Graebener Maschinentechnik has revolutionized shipbuilding - on the basis of a know-how that derives from the production of large pipes.




In 2001, Gräbener Maschinentechnik installed a fully automated Tailor-Welded-Plates system at company Meyer Werft. After Gräbener plate milling machines have prepared the weld seams, the TWP® system manufactures ship deck sections of up to 400 m² from single plates of various thicknesses using the laser hybrid welding process with a CO₂ laser.


This revolution had major impacts. In 2007, Gräbener supplied a similar system to the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri in Triest. The main difference: The Fincantieri TWP®-system is equipped with a fibre laser for welding the plates.


In 2010, Gräbener set another milestone in shipbuilding and supplied a second TWP®-system to the company Meyer Werft. This system is identical, however improved further, and is able to join deck sections with a width of up to 30 m and a length of 25 m (maximum 750 m²) using a disc laser.


Even the benchmark data of the project are inspirational: The installation area for the system in the Meyer Werft workshop covers 2,300 m², the longitudinal traverses, which the laser welding system moves upon, have a length of 43.5 m and a weight of 73 tons. For transport and assembly reasons, each one of these traverses consists of three parts.


TWP®-systems are also used in pipe mills for the manufacturing of large pipes with two longitudinal weld seams. With the TWP®-system, the edges can be milled and welded using only one machine.



Plate Edge Milling Machines / Profile Milling Machines


Gräbener plate edge milling machines as well as profile milling machines are ideally suited for shipbuilding. Especially in the shipbuilding industry, where large-format plates are processed, Gräbener plate edge milling machines tremendously enhance efficiency and excel especially when it comes to reliability and customer satisfaction.


Gräbener profile milling machines are equally reliable. They have been developed to remove rolling edges because in shipbuilding, especially when manufacturing large deck sections, welding units for stiffener profiles to be welded onto the sections are required. In order to join the deck sections with the laser or laser-hybrid welding process, the rolling edges have to be removed first. In contrast to a plate edge milling machine, the profile milling machine works on the principle that the workpiece is moved through the machine instead of the milling head moving along the workpiece.



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