Migatronic Automation will supply two laser welding solutions for Danish technology group Topsoe's giant Power-to-X factory in Herning, Denmark, which is currently under construction. The laser welding solutions will be used in separate sections of the factory and are both equipped with the latest laser welding and quality control technology to meet high demands for accuracy, efficiency and quality.
Topsoe has moved into Haldor Topsøes Vej 2 in Herning, where the Danish technology group is currently building the world's first electrolysis factory of its kind. The factory is planned to be 23,000 square metres in size with an initial production capacity of 500 MW and will house 150 employees and two welding sections developed by Migatronic Automation in Aabybro, Denmark, which specialises in the automation of welding processes.
The two laser welding solutions amount to a double-digit million euro order and will be fully automated. Among other things, the solutions consist of several robots that will handle the workpieces through the laser welding process and post-processing.
- Electrolysis is an obvious choice for producing green fuels, but we need to increase capacity if we are serious about reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Therefore, we have decided to produce electrolysis workpieces on an industrial scale from the new factory in Herning, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the world when it is ready in 2025, says Jan Højer, Project Director for Herning Factory at Topsoe.
It is no coincidence that laser welding was chosen. Laser technology provides better control of the heat input, which makes laser welding ideal for welding thin workpieces, explains Klaus Waenerlund Kristensen, Project Sales Manager at Migatronic Automation:
- The workpieces at Topsoe are made of very thin sheet metal, so the welds must be extremely precise in order not to destroy the function of the electrolysis components. Based on our many years of experience with laser welding, this technology was the obvious choice, as it offers high accuracy and efficiency, which was crucial for Topsoe.
Topsoe's electrolysis workpieces are used to produce green hydrogen. And since hydrogen is the world's smallest molecule, there is no room for erosion or deformation in the welds. Therefore, in order to ensure continued thorough quality control and to put full pressure on automation, the laser welding solutions will also be equipped with integrated QC technology.
- With the selected and fully integrated QC technology, each finished welded workpiece produces a wealth of data that reveals if there are variations in the weld result compared to what was expected. For example, if the weld penetration is not within tolerances, the workpiece will automatically be rejected. The staff can then examine the workpieces more closely and perform further tests to find the cause, concludes Klaus Waenerlund Kristensen.
As part of the order, Migatronic Automation has also delivered a pilot plant to Topsoe for the production of prototypes. The pilot plant will be used for further testing and small-scale production of Topsoe's electrolysis workpieces until the factory in Herning goes into operation. The two Migatronic laser welding solutions are scheduled to be ready for production in mid Q3 2024.