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Increasing efficiency and quality in shipbuilding and shiprepair by developing mobile laser equipment for dock-area (DOCKLASER)

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DockLaser aimed to increase productivity, flexibility, quality and working conditions by developing laser processing techniques and equipment for the final assembly area in ship newbuilding and repair. These areas were characterised by low productive welding techniques with a high heat input, which led to weld distortions and destruction of already applied painted and outfitted components. The project defined cases, requirements and goals for laser processing in dock area, to develop welding/cutting processes and equipment. Work safety and approval is focus of one work package. Close to reality tests and prototype production at the end-user sites will help to estimate the benefits and to achieve applicability under practical conditions. The 3 main application areas were: - welding of long linear fillet welds with tractor system, - tack welding with mechanical system, - manually guided welding/cutting for outfitting. Laser processing techniques offer higher productivity and low heat input. Applications were to date limited to stationary systems in steel pre-manufacturing. DockLaser aimed to develop mechanised mobile laser processing units for 3 typical application areas in shipbuilding: - long linear structural welds - tack welds - cutting operations in outfitting. Selected application areas cover the important joining tasks in the dock area. Savings of up to 50.000 man-hours were expected for a large cruise ship. Equipment manufacturers were supposed to develop marketable new products, applicable also for other industries. Technical objectives of DockLaser were: - develop, integrate and test the moveable base station incl. the tools for the dedicated tasks, - create guidelines and solutions for the qualification of the processes and safe operation of equipment, - test and evaluate the equipment and processes under practical conditions. Benefits included: - high quality, efficiency and working conditions in late assembly stages and outfitting through applicationof laser processing, - reduced heat distortions as well as damages in outfitting and surface treatment, - high flexibility of the equipment through mobility and modular tools, - reduced investment cost as compared to stationary laser systems, - easy integration into existing machines in pre-assembly.

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