AWL finds value in the value of ABB robots

2012-12-18 - ABB’s new Value Provider Program formalizes an intimate relationship that AWL had already come to value.
In the 1990s, when industrial robots became precise enough for welding applications, the automation specialists at AWL seized hold of a pioneering opportunity. Since that time, the Netherlands-based company has used its deep experience to stake a claim as one of the world’s premier suppliers of robotic welding systems.

ABB's Steve Wyatt (left) and Kris Huyck (right) welcome AWL's Brand van't Hof (center) as an Authorized Value Provider

Given such a broad base of experience to work with, AWL’s welding cells are built upon proven technology—ensuring a high degree of uptime and reliability. While the company’s core market is supplying automated welding solutions to the automotive industry, they are also well known for advances in the construction, storage and packaging industries. AWL’s success can be tied directly to the fact that their unique automated solutions provide the flexibility and versatility that modern welding customers demand.

Having grown up within—and to a large degree having shaped—the world of industrial robotic welding, AWL’s history of delivering innovative and cost effective welding solutions has led to a natural fit between AWL and ABB. The two companies’ deep relationship has helped both address the needs of end-users in one of the fastest growing segments of the quickly expanding robotics industry.

Although AWL installs robots from many manufacturers, the majority of the systems they install use ABB robots—something Brand van’t Hof, the company’s Technical Director, attributes to intimate relationships with their customers. “Our customers have shown a preference for ABB robots, which suits AWL well,” says van’t Hof. “This customer demand for ABB robots has resulted in a close relationship between AWL and ABB. Much like a marriage we have been through ups and downs in our long history together, but just like a good marriage we have also stuck together and consider ABB a valuable partner.”

AWL’s welding cells are built upon proven technology—ensuring uptime and reliability.

Van’t Hof says that having access to the research and development process for new robots and welding software—as well as having access to early releases of both the robots and the software—is important to his company’s success. “We have strong contacts to the research and development team and, as a result, feel many ABB products fit our needs better,” says van’t Hof. “By joining the new Value Provider Program our input into the research and development process has been solidified, so we expect to see that relationship continue to evolve.”

The new Value Provider Program formalizes a process that has existed between ABB and its integrator partners for a long time in a less formal way—namely the idea that using ABB robots makes you part of the ABB Robotics family. In this regard, van’t Hof’s marriage analogy is quite apropos. As part of the family, Authorized Value Providers receive sales, marketing, technical, application and service support. “The open lines of communication that ABB has provided to us have been incredibly valuable,” says van’t Hof. “Even when we didn’t have the nicest things to say, ABB was always responsive. At the end of the day we work together to find the solutions that set us apart and help us innovate. This is something our relationship with ABB has provided and something we truly value.”