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What are the challenges of laser welding technology and how to optimize laser welding technology

Laser welding technology and the technology in the automotive, medical, defense and aerospace, and other specific industry has been developing for years, despite the laser welder is still a rare technology, even if the manufacturers to provide laser welding technology, but it is still just an edge process, many parts of design does not meet the requirements of laser welding equipment.How these challenges are overcome is not as difficult as expected, thanks to the development of laser welding and the accuracy of upstream processes, including laser cutting and bending, as well as some new fixation methods.Laser welding requires manufacturers to rethink not only weld gap tolerances or fixture requirements, but also the entire metal processing process.In order to improve cutting and bending capacity, process improvements can be made, and more relevant equipment is needed if the manufacturer wishes to increase cutting or bending capacity.

1, improve the upstream process of cutting

Due to the automatic brake of the bending machine used for cutting fiber laser, the efficiency of the new machine is much higher than that of the previous machine. According to the material type and processing thickness, the high-power fiber laser can have the cutting ability of multiple CO2 lasers. The bending machine with the function of automatic tool change is more efficient than the traditional brake.With advances in manufacturing technology, each machine continues to produce higher-quality parts in less time.Then there is welding and post-welding grinding and finishing. These processes have not developed in the same way. Shops can install robot arc welding units and even simplify programming through offline simulation.

2, improve the upstream process of grinding

Adding additional weld metal to the joint to resolve the gap change can make the problem worse, making it difficult to remove the weld metal polishing workpiece, resulting in increased grinding time and consumable use.Excessive grinding may also increase costs, including the possibility of more rework.The components needed to be designed to eliminate welding complexity due to simulation software, tool replacement automation and intelligent Angle correction.

3. Fiber laser is used

The welding speed of fiber laser is much faster than that of arc welding.Custom manufacturers are familiar with optical fiber lasers, which output diodes of specific wavelengths, which is the essence of the internal technology of optical fiber laser power supply, affecting the laser cutting capacity of the entire industry.Fiber lasers may have a similar effect on welding in coming years.

Laser welding technology has been developed for many years, used for welding and cutting fiber lasers and from the power supply and transmission of optical laser transmission of fiber, the difference occurs in the treatment of the street, positioning on the surface of the material, cutting head focusing beam, assisted gas evacuation molten material incision.Fiber-optic laser welding works away from the material surface, focusing the beam and using gas to shield the welding area.In typical applications of custom manufacturing, laser welding is self-generated and does not use filler metal, which reduces consumable costs and reduces post-weld finishing requirements.

4. Improve the weldability of laser welding materials

Establish good laser welding technology, involving many variables material weldability is a factor, the use of continuous wave and pulse mode, the processing of common materials, carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminum, laser has been dissimilar metal welding, galvanized material specialized welding joint design and can solve the problem of outgassing of zinc.Fiber lasers can successfully weld challenging materials, including copper.Ultra-high power fiber lasers can weld very thick materials. In a typical manufacturing environment, a 4kW fiber laser can easily weld 0.25 inch thick carbon steel.

5. Improve the accuracy of welding head cutting and bending

Laser welding requires tight assembly, and because of welding head technology, laser welding itself has become more flexible.Instead of having to weld along a seam at a fixed point, the laser can be rotated in a small area using a rotating lens.

More modern cutting and bending equipment accuracy, a lot of reference to the design of laser welding parts comes from sheet metal parts, parts need to modified stamping die, but need high cost, can adjust the design and manufacturing technology, suitable for all kinds of joint geometry, without processing new stamping die, choosing appropriate bending machine tools.

6. Improve the fixture fixing device of laser welding

Jig is another obstacle, has been lowered in recent years, high-speed optical fiber laser welding has a fixed method is easier, when welding very thin material, cases had significant effect on the heat input on the joint position, in these cases, the laser welding device available heat mitigation strategy, similar to that of the arc welding battery copper heat sinks and other backing materials, for example, or balance the clamping force, joint position will not move during the welding.

However, for the workpiece, laser welding is fast, with a concentrated thermal impact zone, the fixture does not need to compensate for excessive heat input, and the welding fixture is easier to design and implement in production.

Today's laser welding technology USES a series of fixed strategies to optimize the flow rate of the laser welding unit when combined with precision upstream processes, basically positioning fixtures, which may require off-the-shelf block clamps, or positioning welding.Such a fixture may clamp the component to achieve appropriate joint assembly, but each joint position may not be in the same position.To adapt to this situation, a robot can be used to run, when the laser is turned off, the robot moves down the path of the joint, monitors the video screen, and immediately adjusts the robot path if the operator sees the deviation.After the operation is completed, start the welding cycle.

All of this is very inefficient for manufacturing before measuring actual production, not just welding, but welding and post-welding grinding and finishing, and the robot can weld very quickly, making two passes that might be faster than traditional arc welding.But even if it doesn't, overall throughput may increase.The positioning fixture overcomes the common problems in laser welding technology and the problems in welding automation. Over the years, the adaptive welding using weld seam tracking has made considerable progress.In all kinds of professional welding applications, especially in the design of upstream manufacturing process.If the upstream process is accurate and repeatable, the robot can weld very well without the need for seam tracking.

Quickly from physical or economic perspective, combined with monitoring optical fiber laser welding seam tracker is impractical, ideally the upstream process is repeatable, strong enough, can eliminate joint variability, another factor is that parts, may involve TAB and other technologies from the fixed, another factor is the jig itself, can be pushed the two parts together contact, traditionally involves the production jig, this cost prevented many high product mix, small batch manufacturers use the welding automation.For mass applications, production fixture design is reasonable, can provide a joint for the robot, can complete laser welding.Loadable, clamped, loosened, unloaded and reloaded, complex fixtures can have components for hydraulic or air clamps or even machining channels for faster loading and unloading.

Design laser welding fixture parts, more stable to maintain the molding, more laser welding, beautiful appearance does not need finishing, if the workshop has new equipment, molding may not be a problem, this speed has become a reality in custom processing.

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