Increasing productivity of laser welding machines

Harderwijk, The Netherlands  - At EALA, the European Automotive Laser Applications 2012 conference, Wouter Zweers, Coordinator Development Engineer at AWL-Techniek, presented his thoughts about improving productivity in laser welding by increasing laser utilization and welding speed with the company's machine concepts and fixtures


Zweers, presented two approaches which are combined in many AWL machines. The first - to improve the laser utilization so that the laser can weld for a larger proportion of the cycle time, thus increasing the output of the machine,  accomplished by implementing robotized laser scanner welding or by using a beam-switch system. The second - is to weld faster with the same laser machine, using optimized fixtures with optimal air-flow management.


Air-flow over the laser welding fixture has a substantial influence on the welding speed and the penetration depth of the weld, especially when welding with disc or high power fiber lasers.  If it’s possible to weld faster and deeper in a cost-effective way, more production and shorter cycle-times on the same machine are possible. The challenge is that there are several theories to explain the influence of air. In addition, it is unclear what the positive influence of air could be. More than enough reason for further investigation.


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