As each mast section needs a total of 222 reliable welds, manufacturing them is an extremely labor intensive process.
Until recently, STROS had to use highly skilled welders to make these sections. Although it has been using robots for 25 years, these machines could not manage the complex arc welds in narrow spaces needed for these particular components. Consequently, in order to produce a satisfactory number of mast sections it had to employ three welders per shift at three separate workstations to make these pieces. Apart from the obvious outlay this required in terms of manpower and space, STROS found it increasingly difficult to recruit the highly qualified welders needed for this work. That's why in 2007 the company decided to hold a tender for the complete robotization of its manufacturing process for mast sections. Of the four firms who participated, only the ABB group could fulfill all its requirements.