The introduction of laser welding for the manufacturing of heat exchangers and steam generators can introduce some improvements in the manufacturing process such as the increase of the welding speed and of the quality level. Furthermore the automation of the process, involving the use of the laser welding technology, would permit to reduce the time between welding operations.
Implementation of the laser welding process in industrial applications where orbital moving is needed involves the development of a special laser welding head. This is why a consortium of SMEs, consisting of companies with complementary expertises, have asked to LABOR, IWS-Fraunhofer and AIMEN to design and develop an orbital laser welding head for using in tube to sheet applications.
The ORBITAL system consists in the design, development and construction of a new laser welding head adapted to the specific requirements of the orbital laser welding process and tailored for tube-to-sheet joints used in the production of heat exchangers. The system will be developed in order to enhance the characteristics of the laser welding process: high-speed welding, real-time control, easy automation, data exchange, accuracy.
The ORBITAL laser welding system will be designed in order to satisfy the conditions of orbital welding applications, providing a good shielding gas atmosphere and a repeatable and robust positioning of the laser respect to the tubes to be welded thanks to a mechanical finger inserted in it.
In order to achieve the objectives, it will be necessary to develop the three following technical aspects: an optical path in order to focus the laser on the workpiece, an electro-mechanical system in order to move and control the speed and path of laser beam around the tube circumference with a high positioning accuracy, and a control system that will be able to control the different parameters of the welding head and all the laser installation in order to perform the welding process.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectronic engineeringcontrol systems
- social sciencessociologyindustrial relationsautomation
- natural sciencescomputer and information sciencesdata sciencedata exchange
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesopticslaser physics
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
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