Skip to main content

Integrated processing and control for improved large section and sheet metal steel welding

Exploitable results

The main objective of IPCIM is to develop new and innovative welding techniques for new materials (or products) and to develop welding control techniques for large section and sheet metal steel welding in the manufacturing industry. The result of the IPCIM project will allow partners to use new welding control techniques. This will further extend the application of laser welding by reduction in the process cost through the higher quality and productivity laser welding. TWI is involved in the process evaluation and industrial assessment of the IPCIM project. Work has been completed to achieve the optimised welding conditions for selected joint/material configurations. Work will be conducted on various joint configurations with engineered defected to establish the performance of the monitoring sensors. TWI will provide partners with technical and engineering solutions in structures incorporating welding and associated technologies.
The main objective of IPCIM project is to develop new and innovative welding techniques and a welding control techniques for large section and sheet metal steel welding in the manufacturing industry. The results of IPCIM project will allow for usage of new technologies in the field of new material processing and disseminate the knowledge in the national and surrounding international sector of laser applications.
With the IPCIM project Precitec Optronik GmbH as a SME was able to start the costly investigations on implementing the new semiconductor technology CMOS into sensor systems, which have to work under extreme environmental conditions. The excellent composition of the consortium on the one hand increased the knowledge in soft-computing and generated new ways of thinking as regards to intelligent control strategies, on the other hand was helpful to directly test the different levels of development. The acquired knowledge led into two different applications, sensors for on-line process monitoring and sensors for process control (seam tracking), both on the same hardware basis generated in IPCIM. The typical applications of the results are mainly laser beam welding application in heavy industry. With the results out of IPCIM project Precitec Optronik GmbH is able to launch two products on the market and broaden the product spectra in the near future.
The benefit of the IPCIM project for the LAP is the advancement of technological know how, that can be utilized further in development of new welding applications and control techniques and the co-operation between our European partners. The solutions for control and monitor welding process will help in solving industrial applications of laser welding and further widespread the applicability of laser welding to heavy section welding applications. The techniques developed will in future be applied in different 1D, 2D and 3D applications.
The benefit of the IPCIM project for the CLFA is to acquire advanced technological know how, to develop new and innovative welding control techniques and to co-operate with our European partners. The development of an integrated laser welding head will allow solving industrial problem (e.g. seam tracker integrated to the welding head could allow 3D welding) and widen the laser application to new field by decreasing the process cost through the higher quality products and productivity pipe line welding, ...). A demonstrator of an integrated laser welding head will be tested at the ILT.
The scientific and technological research objectives of the IPCIM project are the development of an advanced production technology using on-line controlled laser beam welding for the manufacturing from thin plates to heavy weight steel. The activity of WEDECO is planing and producing equipment for water disinfections units, which are manufactured by traditional AWI welded stainless steel raw materials. In this way environmentally friendly UV and Ozone disinfecting units are produced. During the IPCIM project an innovative technology has been developed, which changes the existing technology to butt and stake welding by laser beam. As WEDECO works with traditional welding technology (TIG, MIG), this novel application would reduce not only the expenses but also the spent time.
The benefit of the IPCIM project for TKS-LT is most of all the gain of advanced technological know how and process expertise in the field of innovative material processing with special regard to new steel grades and quality control as well as process control. This will allow for a better and more efficient use of resources and result in higher product quality and increased productivity. In addition to this immediate benefit for the company the opening of the national/European and worldwide market for new products made from specialized materials/steel grades will result in much higher intrinsic gain from the resources used. For example structural components made of high strength steel will allow for lightweight construction and optimised technological mechanical properties, which will in consequence have positive ecological effects. TKS-LT envisions a transfer of the results to various fields of applications within the ThyssenKrupp group and other interested companies. One further benefit is the establishing of relations with other European institutes and manufacturers that work in the field of laser technology and material processing. The relations build with the project partners might be used in the future to realise bi- or translateral projects which otherwise would have a to high inhibition threshold to be initiated or which previously lacked the right partner.
The primary load-carrying structures in transport equipment are typically complex welded constructions in thick section steel. Future designs of structures for use in transport equipment and vehicles with low Life Cycle Costs will require that attention be given to a number of critical issues. The competing demands associated with lead-time, cost, quality and fuel consumption need to be set against those of durability and structural integrity, particularly fatigue resistance in order to produce competitive products. As this will require advanced design in high strength steels and a radically new approach to production for this industry sector the focus in this project is to reduce production costs by fabricating components with high-speed processes without a reduction of fatigue strength. The main objective for Volvo in IPCIM is to investigate if Laser Welding in thick sections may be a candidate for production of different structural members in construction machinery. The for-seen technical and economical achievements for laser-welded components can be stated as: Reduction of structural weight by 10 % Reduction of production cost by 15 % The status of the project related to Volvo is that stress analysis are performed confirming that if we get the planned geometry of the welds in beam structures the target will be met. Welding trials at TWI on test pieces are performed and the test pieces is fatigue tested tat KRH in Stockholm with good results, a technical report is written. Welding trials and fatigue testing of a structural member to a frame will be started next year and if the results for-seen in the stress analysis are met the technical and economical achievements are expected to be fulfilled. If the requirement is met there will be several components within Volvo CE or from external supplier who may be candidate for Laser welding. The risk for the Volvo application is that, if the required quality of the weld not will be met in the project, the current MAG-weld processes will be still in operation.
The main objective of IPCIM project is to develop new and innovative welding techniques and a welding control techniques for large section and sheet metal steel welding in the manufacturing industry. The results of IPCIM project will allow for usage of new technologies in the field of new material processing and disseminate the knowledge in the national and surrounding international sector of laser applications. The main tasks of ILT were process evaluation welding trials for autogenous laser beam welding, hybrid CO2 laser/MAG-welding of T-joints, characterisation of welding systems, production of test examples and demonstrator parts and further development of process monitoring system.
The mission of LaserMat, the Laser Materials Processing Laboratory of Instituto Superior Tecnico is to investigate advanced laser materials processing techniques. Our aim in participating in IPCIM is study the potential of plasma spectroscopy as a control tool is laser welding. Lasermat has a Echelle type spectrometer that allows the full spectral range to be simultaneously recorded and this type of instrument has never been used for this application. Lasermat is also interested in ergonomic and safety aspects of laser welding equipment design, since we support Portuguese industry in the installation of laser welding equipment.
The main results of the project for our company are: - 1. Development of an integrated industrial laser welding head - 2. Gain in laser sensor and application experience with MIG-Laser-Hybrid-technology. At the end of the project we have a first prototype of the integrated welding head, which has been used for application tests. Now we are able to improve the welding head demonstrator and built a prototype of the final product. The demonstrator and the improved version will be used for industrial application projects in the test laboratory of our company. After this final optimisation, we will offer the welding head as a regular product. We expect to have customers from different fields, like: - pipe welding (production of tubes) - heavy industry - gas vessels and tank production (chemical industry) - ship yards (probably the most important field right now). We have already one project, where we included the welding head into our offer to the customer. Here it is necessary to fill unavoidable gaps with the laser-MIG-Hybrid technology. The second most important field is laser welding of tubes. In general, this compact welding head with integrated sensors and MIG-hybrid-capability will widen the laser application to new fields, because production costs can be cut and quality can be improved.