Shanghai, China - Through last month, the first domestic laser tailor welder in China, jointly developed by CAS Shenyang Automation Institute and Baosteel, had accumulated over 65,000 welded pieces, reaching the performance of international units, which indicates that domestic tailored laser welding technology and machinery have been greatly improved.
Laser tailor welding of steel plate with different compositions, thicknesses, and coatings is widely used in automobile manufacturing sectors. Currently, the cutting, processing, and distribution center set up by Baosteel International for automobile work is equipped with a laser tailor welding unit. Due to the complicated manufacturing process, most laser tailor welding units are imported. Because of the high price, long procurement cycle, and maintenance considerations, domestic suppliers had intended to develop local tailor welders.
In 2009, the CAS Shenyang Automation Institute copied the overseas advanced technology and commenced developing a domestic laser tailor welder. Because Baosteel has experience in automotive sheet production and the tailor welding application, a joint R & D team was established.
The same year, a pilot welding line with capacity of 500,000 pieces was installed at Baosteel International Naijing Summit Metal Products Co. Ltd.
At the trial production stage, when compared to another imported line, Bao's unit had a big gap in performance, which could not meet the needs of massive production. Based on actual production, different specifications and characteristics of components, the Baosteel International Workshop Management Department and the Nanjing Bao-Summit quality technicians, together with the Shenyang Automation Institute, have made further improvements in the material feeding system and clamp positioning system.
Over the last half year of continuous improvement, the number of daily processing pieces from the domestic line has been increased from hundreds to thousands, with the automation level greatly enhanced. At the end of last year, the annual output of this line reached over 700,000 pieces, well beyond the designed level.
Compared with imported equipment, the price of the domestic line is half that of imported equipment. The domestic line is proficient in small piece processing and easy to switch over. Its successful application has broken the price and technology monopoly of overseas companies, enhancing the market competitiveness of domestic companies. Both partners are willing to intensify the R & D in stability and applicability so as to raise the market share of domestic lines.
(Image via Shutterstock)