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Development and validation of on line monitoring and NDT Inspection of Laser welded thin sheet automotive components


The automotive sector is a vital part of the European economy The EU is the largest automotive production region in the world with 34 of global manufacture and the industry comprises 7 5 of all manufacturing within the Union Increasing demand for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions at lower costs has prompted the automotive industry to reduce vehicle weight by using new lightweight materials joining processes and manufacturing concepts Due to pioneering work in the industry the use of lasers for production of Tailor Welded Blanks and body in white structures has now come of age To assure quality in laser welded parts giving high integrity automotive components for safety critical structural applications current monitoring and inspection techniques are often difficult in their application performed off line and are time consuming and expensive.

Moreover the current NDT inspection and tear down in which a fully assembled car is put through a controlled crash is only a sampling test as not all parts can be inspected individually Because of the implications on the human and economic costs of the currently applied procedures major vehicle manufacturers would prefer to have an NDT record for each weld which should reduce the amount of vehicle bodies used for tear down It is also the intention to perform this testing on line as 100 inspection using current procedures is economically not viable This pre competitive project will develop a new fast monitoring and NDT inspection system the OLIWAM system to be used on line providing a 100 inspection rate for thin sheet laser welded automotive components The system' s software will allow for on line evaluation of the results with remedial actions if any taken immediately significantly reducing repair costs and scrap rates Generic concepts for a further four NDT inspection systems will also be developed to further facilitate fast reliable on line detection of weld imperfections

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Granta park, great abington
Regno Unito

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