T-Drill’s Automated Production Cell for Fogmaker International

 

Founded in 1995, Fogmaker International AB creates fire suppression systems for heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks. Their system creates a high-pressure water mist that suppresses engine fires. Fogmaker has expanded their business by also going into other segments such as mining, tunneling, forestry, agriculture and construction. Fogmaker’s fire suppression systems can also be placed in systems other than vehicles, for example, in spare power generators.

T-DRILL’s Automation Cell Triples Production Capacity

Fogmaker International AB first contacted T-DRILL after gaining interest in their T-DRILL TCC-28 cutting machine. After Fogmaker visited T-DRILL’s factory in Laihia, Finland, the companies quickly found common ground, resulting in Fogmaker ordering an entire automation cell instead of the single pipe cutting machine they were originally after.

— We decided that we can use an automation cell to produce the pressure distribution systems and the water mist nozzles that are a part of our fire suppression systems. Automation enables us to control our staff costs and, therefore, to respond to the high price pressure in the market. It also speeds up our production – the automation cell allows us to triple our capacity, says Fogmaker’s Sales and Marketing Manager Lars Alrutz.

The central element of the automation cell is the chipless cutting machine that originally sparked the companies’ 3-year-long collaboration. According to Alrutz, the machine suits them very well in terms of quality and production rates.

— The cutting machine cuts the pipe off instead of sawing it off. We have a hydraulic system which means that it is crucial to have cutting without any chips, burrs or dirt. It is also important for us that the product is of Scandinavian quality.

A Complete Solution from Design to Testing

In addition to the T-DRILL chipless cutting machine, the automation cell includes, among others, a bending machine from Herber Engineering Ab, laser marking equipment from Cajo Technologies and a robot from Yaskawa. T-DRILL was in charge of the entire project by designing, installing, automating, integrating and commissioning the whole production cell, as well as manufacturing the chipless cutting machine. T-DRILL also performed factory and site acceptance tests. According to Project Manager Esa Holappa, the project was a success both in terms of schedule and budget.

— Installation and commissioning were completed in the agreed timetable. We had a very efficient team on site, so everything went well. We received very positive feedback on our installation team from the customer, too. I am very happy with the end result.

According to T-DRILL’s Export Manager Jukka Harju, the solution for Fogmaker was carefully designed to meet their needs. A thorough design process and tight communication from both parties were key factors in successfully completing the extensive project.

— Going back and forth enabled us to truly understand Fogmaker’s needs, which they were, thankfully, very specific about. Open communication also enabled them to be fully aware of what we were going to provide them with. Working with Fogmaker was smooth from the beginning – they had a very professional approach during the entire process.

“High Quality – That Is Why We Chose T-DRILL”

According to Harju and Holappa, the magnitude of the project with all of the other suppliers and the extensive design process was a challenge for T-DRILL. The men are pleased with how the whole organization was able to adapt to the challenge and the special arrangements it required.

— We were able to meet all requirements, provide the customer with a complete solution and hand over a turnkey automation cell. This has been a significant project and a strategical shift for T-DRILL.

Fogmaker has gradually started bringing the automation cell into use. So far, comments on the cell’s functions have been nothing but positive. According to Alrutz, everything looks very promising.

— We have had great discussions with T-DRILL throughout the project. We have seen that they are professionals who understand the customer’s needs. High quality is our priority and that is why we chose T-DRILL.

 

Want to hear more from Fogmaker’s Lars Alrutz? Check out the video below!


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