Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Instant Control For Laser Welding

Date:
March 15, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
A novel camera system has 25,000 processors integrated in its pixels which work together to analyze images the instant they are taken -- over ten times faster than a computer. This allows to automatically adjust the output of a laser as it performs welding operations.

An innovative control system adapts the laser output instantly to the welding situation.
Credit: Fraunhofer IPM

Car doors are usually assembled from several sections of sheet metal which are welded together by laser. The laser beam moves over the slightly overlapping sheets and melts them in a spot measuring several tenths of a millimeter, producing a so called full penetration hole that closes again when the laser beam moves on.

It is most important for the laser output power to be set correctly – if it is too low the strength of the welding connection is reduced because it does not extend over the full cross section of the metal sheets, if it is too high the laser cuts right through them.

Until now welders have gauged the right laser output by trial and error and then kept it constant. A complicating factor exists, however, in that the protective glass gets dirty after a while and lets less laser light through onto the metal. If this happens earlier than usual, hours can pass before it is noticed and the metal sheets may not be properly welded. Today, welding processes are only monitored without adjustment of the laser power because the achievalble frame rate of about thousand evaluated images per second is not sufficient. For a closed loop control, frame rates of more than 10 kilohertz – equivalent to 10,000 images per second – are needed for a robust surveillance of the rapidly moving full penetration hole.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in Freiburg have now developed a control system for laser welding processes which adapts the output to the given situation.

"Our system analyzes 14,000 images per second and uses the acquired data to adjust the laser output," explains IPM project manager Andreas Blug.

So how does the system manage to analyze the images more than ten times faster than conventional software? "We use special cameras in which a tiny processor is integrated in each pixel. All these processors – 25,000 in total – work simultaneously. In conventional image processing systems the data are handled consecutively by just a small number of computer processors," says Blug.

The new systems are referred to as "Cellular Neural Networks" (CNN). Just a few microseconds after the image is taken the camera delivers an analyzed picture of the contours of the full penetration hole. For small holes the system increases the output, for large ones it reduces it. "In developing this adjustment system we have achieved the first industrial application of CNN technology," says Blug. A prototype already exists, and the researchers now intend to test the system in production.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Instant Control For Laser Welding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309105032.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, March 15). Instant Control For Laser Welding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309105032.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Instant Control For Laser Welding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309105032.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins