Laser Hybrid Welding
Laser hybrid welding is an application used to process material. This is accomplished with specialists in laser automation techniques. This process uses high speeds for welding and has a low rate of distortion. The automation increases the accuracy so the manufacturing is performed at levels that are state of the art.
The process combines the benefits of lasers and arc welding for a product neither is capable of by themselves. The process is able to fill in the gaps in a weld joint due to the high rate of disposition. The laser pinpoints the density of the energy to enable a deeper joint. The advantages of this process include higher speeds for welding, less distortion, a lower input of heat, the creation of deeper and narrower welds and extremely little or no rework.
The Source Of The Laser
This process needs excellent power from a laser source that is fiber guided. The number of companies who manufacture a laser with enough power for this process are extremely limited. The laser must provide the flexibility required to allow proper movement of the optics. The best lasers to use are disk or fiber. The welding of a seam may require eight to ten minutes with an additional five to change the parts. The systems used for cooling are a critical part of this process.
The laser source controls how much power is available. This power is needed for the systems that guide the beams. Incredibly precise control is required for the optics to be able to form the beam. These optics also need to be robust and rugged so they can handle severe conditions. They require protective lenses and cross-jet tooling to ensure they are properly protected from weld splatters.
Kinematics carry the welding torch and laser optics through the welding seam. High accuracy is a necessity or the rigidity of the gantry portal system will not be useful. The gantry will accommodate very large pieces of work without cluttering the work space. The configuration used gives the most possible amount of flexibility for the robots 3D motions. The head of the assembly is very heavy and if the robot payload has not been rated appropriately it will not be able to deliver enough accuracy.
The speed and ease of the programming used for the welding is critical regarding the success of the operation. There are specific programs with the ability to show the visualization of the actual work cell, work piece and robot. This gives the programmer the ability to prepare a highly detailed program without losing any production time. The automation and robot controller have to allow the programming to control the laser equipment, vision systems, the shielding gas and the welding power supply. The programming must be straightforward, intuitive and very quick. Montanstahl offers the construction materials and steel profiles required for these operations. They are quite active in supplying and producing specialty steel shapes of extremely high quality.
More information here: https://www.montanstahl.com/products/special-profiles/3d-laser-fusion/