MV Werften has commenced the operation of the laser-hybrid welding line at its new hall 11 in Rostock, Germany, to manufacture panels for the Global Class cruise ships.

The new semi-automatic welding plant is designed to produce panels measuring up to 25m x 6m and will be used for the entire steel prefabrication of the Rostock yard.

It is equipped with a one-sided butt welding station with laser-hybrid / MAG tandem welding heads with integrated milling.

The plant features capabilities for automated profile assembling with two-sided fillet welding of profiles using a laser-hybrid process and programmable robot portals.

The highly automated thin panel welding line is powered by MV Werften’s digitalisation and logistics concept.

Commenting on the opening of the plant, Germany Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Economics Minister Harry Glawe said: “The acquisition of the shipyards by Genting Hong Kong and their development into specialists for cruise ship construction has given the shipbuilding and indeed entire maritime industry of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania a completely new perspective.

“Order, capacity utilisation, and employment levels are continuing to develop positively.

“The state-of-the-art and innovative panel production line will significantly improve production operations.”

“The state-of-the-art and innovative panel production line will significantly improve production operations, as well as further sharpen the company’s edge in the fiercely competitive shipbuilding market.”

The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Government of Germany provided a total of €6m to support the establishment of the plant.

Rostock-based Fraunhofer Institute conducted the feasibility study on optimised cycle times of the plant, while a firm based in Schwerin supplied the system control for coordinating the cranes and welding portals.

MV Werften will invest more than €100m in its new shipbuilding hall complex, which is expected to employ up to 150 people per shift in the medium term.

The hall complex will comprise three halls and a total of 25 workstations.