It is really astonishing: a company is instrumental in the production of more than 70 % of cars in Germany – yet hardly anyone knows its name. The reason: a finished car does not show any of its “products”, and yet they hold everything together safely and reliably – thanks to the welding spots!
NIMAK – The inventor of the robot welding gun
NIMAK GmbH, based in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany is the inventor of the robot welding gun and a leading manufacturer in the field of industrial joining technology. In addition to welding guns and equipment for spot welding and roller seam welding, the company also manufactures machines for projection welding. In projection welding the weld is created by means of raised sections, or projections, on one or both of the workpieces to be joined. Only these projections form electrical contacts. During the current flow, the projection partially melts and joins with the other component. This allows, for example, screw nuts to be welded to sheet metal.
NIMAK also offers high-performance equipment for automated gluing. Today, more and more adhesive bonds are being used in the industry. They offer completely new possibilities, especially in lightweight structures, because different types of materials can be reliably joined.
Engineering of plant layouts with Visual Components
NIMAK GmbH employs approximately 430 people worldwide. Its customers operate in the automotive, consumer goods, aerospace, and metal processing industries. The technical sales department in the Automation division is responsible for responding to customer enquiries, developing equipment concepts together with the design department and preparing detailed and compelling proposals for the customers.
The software of the Finnish solution provider Visual Components is used for these diverse tasks. With this solution for 3D factory planning and simulation, complete manufacturing systems can be designed and optimized; offline programming of robots can also be done. The software simulates the entire manufacturing process, from stand-alone machines to complex integrated systems. Thanks to the simulation, production processes can be optimized, e.g. cycle times can be determined and minimized, and questions such as accessibility by robots and collision avoidance can be resolved.
3D simulation helps NIMAK to stand out from its competitors
Michael Hintz is working in NIMAK’s technical sales department: “I use Visual Components software every day for the development of concepts for automation systems. Our customers thus obtain a highly detailed concept in 3D in short time, which they can then show to their management.” In this way the sales of equipment can be sped up because 3D simulation of production equipment helps to create more convincing offers, to stand out from the competition and to win the trust of customers.