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Automotive supplier installs smart laser welding solution

Prague-based MediCom and laser beam shaping specialist, Limo, have developed a laser welding solution for a large German automotive supplier designed according to the concept of Industry 4.0.

Limo developed a laser head software program that controls the process and monitors the welding operation. Industry 4.0 is a German concept referring to the fourth industrial revolution, whereby manufacturing equipment is interconnected via the internet to monitor the production process.

For each component, the system signals whether the individual welding operation – including all of the welding parameters – was okay or not okay. The closed-loop control system gives fully in-line quality control, and the system offers machine-to-machine communication via a fieldbus. The customer can also satisfy mandatory documentation requirements for safety components.

Limo supplies fibre-coupled 200W diode laser modules for MediCom's systems. The laser modules feature an intelligent laser processing head and a sensor for non-contact temperature measurement. The MediCom systems are used by notable automotive suppliers to weld fuel filter enclosures.

Peter Bruns, director applications and technical service at Limo in Dortmund, said: ‘With our solutions, it is even possible to weld automotive components made of glass fibre reinforced plastic, where weld seams need to withstand pulse pressures of up to 65 bar over a temperature range of -40°C to +125 °C.’

The new intelligent laser processing head offers versatile beam geometry and intensity distribution. Because the beam shape is adapted to each individual application, both the quality and productivity of the assembly process can be increased, Limo noted.

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