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Quality and flexibility improvements in tig welding by using innovative, vision and computer, aided welding

Objective



Welding process is a cross-disciplinary technique widely used in manufacturing of products. Moreover the TIG welding is more specifically dedicated to high tech. products and to various applications like medical, aeronautic, metallurgy, automotive, and so on. The main problem of industrials using TIG welding process is today to close the gap between specifications of quality department and ability of the process (actually mechanised process or qualified operators) to reach quality specifications with less than 1, 2 or 5% of trash goods. Such industrial constraints are included in strategy of European SMEs industries that have to compete with aggressive foreign industries. Simple welding tasks are commonly automated thanks to mechanised systems, but industrial companies come against the difficulty to automate more complex welding tasks with acceptable costs and performances. The present project will to fill in the gap with an innovative concept that intends to improve the performance of welding process thanks to an image processing of the welding pool coupled with real-time computer control. SME companies are aware of the economical and competitive necessity to improve their process and the intended development offer the best opportunity. The intended project will focus on the requirements of industrial companies: * the process should be flexible enough to cope with the production change that is to say the parametrisation of the CAW must be simple enough to allow production change in less than 2 hours in some kinds of configuration (medium scale production) and less than half a day for large series * the flexibility criteria must not affect the accuracy of the welding process: the quality of welding scene vision must be constant and not move with the changing of parameters; the trajectory follow up should be easy to configure and must not affect the weld joint quality; etc... The aim of this project is to design and validate a system able 1. to automatically weld with TIG process 2. with less than 2% scrap (or trash goods) due to welding process, in harsh quality specifications 3. with less than 2 hours parametrisation for medium series / less than half a day for large series 4. to decrease significantly time for welding The intended project is included in the BRITE EURAM Areas. The subject covered by the proposal is area 1.4.1 S. 2 other areas are covered by the proposal: 1.4.4 M and 2.3.6 M.

Funding Scheme

CRS - Cooperative research contracts

Coordinator

Don Foster Racing Construction S.A.
Address

3260 Saint Germain Des Fossés
France

Participants (5)

Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique
France
Address
Route Du Panorama
92265 Fontenay Aux Roses
Joäo R Matos S.A.
Portugal
Address
Rua Do Viso
3811 Viso
Protem SA
France
Address
Zone Industrielle Les Bosses
26800 Etoile-sur-rhène
Spectac Ltd.
Ireland
Address
Coe's Road
102 Dundalk
Thomson Tubes Electroniques
France
Address

38430 Moirans