Scansonic develops multi-scanner system for high-speed laser welding
Scansonic has developed a high-speed laser welding system that enables the rapid processing of large, singular components, or alternatively numerous smaller components simultaneously.
The FCW (Fast Component Welding) system, presented this year at the Laser World of Photonics, integrates a number of compact scanner units on a single process-specific application plate, either in series or as a matrix.
The units can be controlled individually and work cooperatively, enabling simultaneous, independent process control strategies at a high level of quality.
FCW is Scansonic's response to the increasing speed and quality requirements in laser processing.
The global effort to reduce emissions is accompanied by a growing demand for efficient fuel cells, batteries, electric motors and high-performance electronics, as well as cooling technologies. This also requires new laser processing techniques, for example for laser welding of bipolar plates, battery contacts, hairpins or surface coolers for car battery trays in electric vehicle drives – all of which present their own challenges.
For example, a single bipolar plate requires welds of a total length of up to 4.5m; for a chiller plate, this can be up to 100m. An electric motor consisting of up to 400 hairpins or battery trays with up to 1,000 battery cells with anode and cathode welding requires up to 2,000 welds. The joints must also meet high standards, with most components and therefore each weld seam needing to be helium-tight. If a single seam is not ok, the entire component needs to be scrapped. This is why users expect the highest quality in terms of electrical, mechanical and structural component properties.
The new FCW system aims to address this via its large scan field, fast mirror movements, a powerful z-shifter for height compensation in the workpiece, automatic image recognition and sophisticated quality monitoring.
Using the example of bipolar plates and surface coolers for car battery trays as an example, the new system enables several seams to be welded simultaneously. When welding hairpins, the scanner units can be arranged at 90°. Each unit can approach a segment on the stator, illuminate it evenly, detect its position and weld it out. This means that the stator no longer requires turning, irrespective of its size. Turning the stator is not only costly, but also a determining factor for process productivity.
Overall, through the new FCW system Scansonic aims to offer plant and mechanical engineers both a standardised and pre-adjusted laser welding system that simplifies automation and individual adaptation on site while at the same time shortening work processes.