New era dawns with high power laser welding technology

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "New era dawns with high power laser welding technology", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

New era dawns with high power laser welding technology

New era dawns with high power laser welding technology

Keywords: Laser welding, Fibre optics

Nd:YAG laser power approaching 10kW at the workpiece through a single fibre optic beam delivery has become a reality as the result of a major development project undertaken by GSI Lumonics, a world leader in laser-based automated manufacturing systems and TWI (the Welding Institute).

For the first time, the new technology will allow three-dimensional capability for thick section welding, providing increased flexibility within the manufacturing process not previously possible with CO systems. Initial work has already demonstrated that penetration depths of 15mm in steels and speeds in excess of 10m/min in thinner materials are achievable.

"From the outset, our objective has been to deliver commercially viable high powered solid state welding - and we have achieved that", says Simon Wheatley, product line manager at GSI Lumonics. "We are now inviting companies who want to be at the forefront of processing capability to work with us to test the technology with real production requirements."

Results of this privileged access to the state-of-the-art technology will be confidential, and will be used to fine-tune the system. "It's a rare opportunity for would-be pioneers to implement new techniques to improve the overall efficiency of their production process", comments Wheatley.

The project, which was launched two years ago by Science and Technology Minister John Battle, was funded by a significant investment from GSI Lumonics and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The high power laser facility is located at TWI in Abington, Cambridgeshire, UK.

For more information, please contact Simon Wheatley, Product Line Manager, GSI Lumonics Ltd, Cosford Lane, Swift Valley, Rugby, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1788 570321; Fax: +44 (0) 1788 579824.

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