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Process monitoring
Applications > Joining technology > Process monitoring

Getting the laser welding process safely on the right track

The quality of a laser welding seam is dependent on many influencing variables that cannot always be reproduced. Variations of e.g. joining geometry or the surface quality of the component to be welded can cause failures in the welding seam. A good laser welding result is dependent on correct laser welding process settings. Precitec sensors measure and control the right position of the laser spot before laser welding and ensure a quality that can be reproduced via the recognition of process emissions. Right after laser welding, the high-resolution camera system measures the geometry and surface quality of the seam. Our solutions offer the highest level of safety possible with constant monitoring of your automated joining process.

Welding head YW52 - with ScanTracker
Impeccable welding seams in thick-walled aluminium

When laser welding aluminium, the weld pool is quite distinctly fluid. Material expulsions and holes can occur, and these permit neither an acceptable weld quality nor good bonding. 

Visibly good results can be achieved using a coaxial seam tracking system and the precisely adjustable effective width of the laser spot. Consequently, it is not only thin components - generally the case with conduction welding - that can be welded. The use of the ScanTracker also permits conduction welding, with scan function, of thick-walled aluminium components. There is no need for expensive and complex post-treatment, above fall for visible seams. 

Welding head YW52 - with ScanTracker
Individual seam geometries

When housing and metal sheet structures from aluminium, steel, stainless steel and NF alloys are welded, the exterior welding seams are so-called visible seams. They should not have a raised form, and ought to fit into the component contour, in other words create flowing transitions.

Owing to the three-dimensional component geometry and the robot-controlled plant concept, seam tracking is unrelenting. Consequently, deviations in the component position are noticeable and can be compensated by a continuous position correction. The variably adjustable spot size makes the welding seam precisely as wide as the application requires.

Welding depth monitoring with airbag detonator cap

When laser welding airbag detonator caps, monitoring of the welding depth is of great importance: On the one hand, one is not allowed to weld through it, because the detonator cap is filled with an explosive detonating substance. On the other hand, it must me welded at a depth that is enough to ensure that the detonator cap is sealed. The laser welding depth on airbag detonator caps has been monitored by the Laser Welding Monitor LWM for several automotive suppliers since 1999. 

Welding head YW52 - basic model
Optimized performance laser welding of auto body connections

Laser welding of auto body components places great demands on processing quality. Precitec coaxial process monitoring is used by the innovation alliance Green Carbody Technologies, in order to ensure continuous process monitoring. Thereby, the laser power is also adjusted to the processing time, in order to attain the best possible laser welding quality. 

Follow complex curves

Part and stamping variation is often a fact of life. Rather than refurbishing or replacing every die and stamping machine in order to achieve exacting part repeatability, it is often easier to add a seam finding method to the assembly process. The ScanTracker, a laser welding head that integrates a real-time closed-loop seam-finding process, is an ideal choice for its speed, precision, and repeatability. Even on blind welds on the edge of a car door, the ScanTracker is able to follow complex curves and place the weld right where it is needed, every time.

Welding System FormWelder Plus
Precise laser welding of small contours

Gambrel sticks, so-called ISOFIX latch serve for attaching children's car seats. Laser Welding small contours takes place on a stationary welding station with a programmable X/Y axis system integrated into the processing head. This separates the small contours with high path accuracy. Process monitoring also controls the safety-relevant parts to 100% on line. 1.5 million latches are produced in a double work station annually.

Laser welding of security-relevant components

Constant quality monitoring and documentation is required when laser welding security-relevant components. Thus, the in-process monitor LWM (Laser Welding Monitor) is used when laser welding seat slide adjuster and backrests. The LWM sensor unit can be adapted as both standard optic and scanner optic. 

Monitoring of the seam position when welding powertrains

The detection of the joining position is often a challenge for seam guides when laser welding gear wheels. Only the correct positioning of the laser spot ensures a smooth welding connection. The space-saving solution of the coaxial structure of the seam guide can be easily integrated into the welding machine. The sensor measures the position of the radial and axial joints precisely and it can be reproduced, even with small radii.

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