A generally low degree of automation in the shipbuilding industry, means that the new systems developed within this project offer great potential for future development. Results could be of significant interest for further developments in industrial manufacturing, especially in the fields of robotics, adaptive control and through the arc sensing.
The BRITE shipyard robot is specially designed for section assembly in ship fabrication. The novel design comprises of a seventh external axis allowing the robot to weld all seams of a shiphull box efficiently, including lugs and collars. Cranes are used for relocation from box to box, and programming isrealised either by conventional teach programming or off line, by use of the ROBCAD simulation and off line programming system. Tactile sensors and through the arc seamtracking ensures consistent high weld quality.
Improved tolerant welding procedures were developed to cope with the varying tolerances of shipbuilding, and to maximize productivity of the 2 automated welding systems developed. Equipment and procedures for measuring fumes and gases from welding on both clean and surface treated steel also developed.
Several modified prefabrication primers formulated, reducing the negative infulence on welding quality and productivity. A standardized test for evaluating prefrabrication primers was also devised.
The Brite-Boy is an automated horizontal/vertical fillet welding machine, comprising a sensor and control system. The system allows both sensor-guided single and multiphase welding of straight and curved panels. Easy joy stick pre-programming offers rapid setting of welding parameters in both pulsed and non-pulsed conditions, and assures high quality welds throughout the seams.
New possibilities for flexible low cost automation of welding in the heavy industries have been studied. This involved development of fairly simple automation of the welding of subcomponents, a large scale shift to mechanical welding processes and application of welding robots, whenever possible. Particular attention was given to the problems caused by the primers.
- TO SELECT HEAVY INDUSTRY MANUFACTURING TASKS AND EVALUATE THE POSSIBILITIES FOR INTRODUCING FLEXIBLE, LOW COST AUTOMATION.
- TO EVALUATE NEW WELDING PROCESSES AND POWER SOURCES TO IMPROVE ESTABLISHED WELDING TECHNIQUES, NOTABLY ARC WELDING PROCESSES APPLICABLE FOR LOST COST AUTOMATION.
- TO DEVELOP AND IMPROVE THE APPLICATION OF WELDING ROBOTS, SENSORS AND OTHER AUTOMATION EQUIPMENT. SPECIAL ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO ASPECTS SUCH AS OFF-LINE PROGRAMMING AND INTERFACING OF THE EQUIPMENT.
- TO DEVELOP A STANDARD TEST FOR EVALUATION OF PREFABRICATION PRIMERS AND SUBSEQUENTLY MODIFICATION OF PRIMERS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN BETTER PROPERTIES AS REGARDS WELDING.
- TO IMPLEMENT AND SUBSEQUENTLY EVALUATE SELECTED CASES OF FLEXIBLE LOW COST AUTOMATION IN THE HEAVY INDUSTRIES.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
TW11 8LZ Teddington