The WeldMaster systems for the real-time process control and quality monitoring of laser seams are based on one standardized platform, which is responsible for data processing and operator guidance. Camera systems and sensors for measuring and controlling the laser joining process can be connected and evaluated to suit the application concerned. The operator concept is always the same, no matter whether the system is supposed to detect and control the joining position, whether an image is evaluated for detecting welding seam defects or whether only a simple sensor signal, the laser power for instance, is to be depicted. The WeldMaster platform reads all measured data in real-time, evaluates it and, as a centralized system, is able to link data values of various measurement sources in any combination and generate variables or make OK or not OK decisions therefrom.
WeldMaster Scan and Track
The YW52 welding head with integrated beam oscillator (Scan) coupled to the WeldMaster System (Track) in the coaxial configuration fulfills all process control and monitoring requirements.
ScanTracker measures the joining position in a lateral and spacer direction. Instead of an external axis, the integrated scanner mirror precisely controls the focal position along the measured joint. Additionally, the mechanically-controlled collimation lens compensates any change in the standoff distance. If, for example, the gap width or height changes as well as the position of the joint, the WeldMaster system in addition can overlay a high-frequency pendulum motion to the scanner mirror and thus increase the seam width. The WeldMaster also controls the laser power, which is freely-programmable, in synch with the pendulum motion.
The minimum lead times for the measurement, less than tenths of a second, and the application-adapted lateral and longitudinal energy distribution leave nothing to be desired when it comes to optimal process control.
The WeldMaster Inspect function measures and assesses the welding seam against specified quality criteria. Depending on setup, the camera with illumination unit detects the seam profile and optionally replicates the weld surface together with the surrounding joining parts at a high resolution. The WeldMaster platform processes the incoming image data, calculates profile and quality characteristics and compares them with the specified threshold values. The system sends any flaws detected to be displayed on the GUI, to predefined machine interfaces or to a repair station.