WeldSure or Don’t Weld At All!
Servo-Robot Inc. Posted 04/15/2011
SMART Laser Seam Tracking for Automated Welding
The bottom line for companies manufacturing welded products is to achieve the highest quality at the lowest cost. The best measure of how well this is being achieved is the metric called Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Servo-Robot has just released their newest AUTO-TRAC/PWP laser vision seam tracking system that dramatically improves weld productivity, quality and uptime which are the three factors influencing the OEE metric.
AUTO-TRAC/PWP shown in Figure 1 has achieved new levels of welding performance while being the simplest laser vision seam tracker ever to use. If you can operate an iPad® you can run the AUTO-TRAC/PWP. One can install this system on your new equipment or it is setup to easily retrofit to existing welders which are manually operated or utilize mechanical probe for guidance. The heart of the system is the digital high speed laser camera head which is the most powerful for its size on the market today. It has a large field of view combined with high resolution that allows this system to handle products ranging from thin sheet metal to 50mm thick steel. In the past, either a camera had to be optimized for small or large weld joints but could not do both. This is no longer a limitation.
As great as the hardware performs, the intuitive software and friendly user interface are really what sets the Servo- Robot AUTO-TRAC/PWP system apart from anything else on the market. While one can get caught up with numbers like the system’s camera speed in thousands of profiles/second or the resolution in microns, what are really important is what one can do with all this power and how easy the system is to use.
Features from Servo-Robot’s AUTO-TRAC/PWP that have not previously been available from anyone include those shown in Table 1 below. These features directly improve performance when welding products ranging from storage tanks to ships to bridges.
|What is the feature||How this benefit improves productivity and quality
|Weld joint validation||Validates that the joint fit-up meets the weld procedure requirement before welding is allowed to start, thus greatly reducing rework and scrap|
|Real time adaptation to part||Compensates within process capability for joint variability, including excessive gap , to make an acceptable weld|
|Real time weld inspection||Can inspect in real time with a camera located behind the welding torch or by using a second pass scan|
|Automatic joint location||If the joint is outside of the camera FOV, the system automatically searches till the weld joint is found|
|Controller can run 2 cameras||One can simultaneously track the joint and inspect the weld to insure optimized welding takes place|
Besides doing its main task of seam tracking, the ability to monitor the overall welding process provides useful data to facilitate Six Sigma continuous improvement efforts. Useful information includes part fit-up variability, system uptime and productivity metrics.