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High welding speeds through automated welding technology

Weil technology's laser welding systems can be configured on the basis of standardized modules, which allows for the development of component, customer and project-specific production systems. The primary advantage of the laser welding process is that the welding speed is up to 10x higher when compared to other welding processes. The result is strong and resistant welded joints, less heat input into the component and thus almost distortion-free workpieces.

The base frames of the laser welding systems are a solid, torsion-resistant, welded panel construction combined with hot-finished steel construction profiles. The welding station forms the heart of each laser welding system. It is a solid steel-welded and stress-free annealed construction upon which the axes for the laser welding optics are mounted. All laser welding systems are completely enclosed with walk-in protective cabins to prevent the escape of laser radiation.

The laser welding system is completely flexible and can be used in combination with all laser technologies (eg. fiber, disc, CO2, laser hybrid), so that the best possible beam quality can produce perfect weld seams. All laser welding systems are optimized with component-specific clamping technology, which allows flexible production as well as quick and safe retrofitting.

An optional extra is process data monitoring of the laser welding process for detecting and avoiding welding errors. Further data monitoring processes can be integrated upon request, while cooling and fume extraction are integral parts of each system.

Weil technology's laser welding systems can be divided broadly into three categories: tube production lineslaser welding modules and laser welding cells.

Laser welding systems: Short tube production systems

Laser welding systems for efficent production of high quality short tubes and special applications. Single and multi-station systems for the production of pipes with a pipe length up to 3.0 m, wall thicknesses up to max. 3 mm and diameter range from 30 to 1200 mm, tube production lines with round bending and welding processes, continuous tube welding machines for the production of high volumes and further processing equipment such as tube end forming, tube cutting machines, calibration and expander devices.

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Laser welding of (pressurised) containers and water tanks

Laser welding sytems for the production of two- and three-part containers. weil technology offers complete packages for the production of containers and uses semi- and fully automatic production in a continuous process chain, from the coil to the complete laser-welded product. These lines can be operated with production capacities of up to 1000 to 1600 parts per shift. Currently we can offer a container production with a pipe diameter of 120 to 600 mm, pipe lengths of 2000 mm (max.) and a sheet thickness of 2.5 mm.

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Flexible Laser Solutions: modular and flexible laser welding and cutting cells

Multi-axis laser welding cells with up to 5 axes for machining complex components in one clamping, multi-station turntable systems for laser-accurate welding requirements, modular production lines for simple, manageable assembly, welding and testing processes for the production of complex assemblies, laser cells for cutting and welding in one clamping with flexible tool and material flow concept.

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Value-added coalitions in the interest of our customers

When selecting laser components, we consider not only customer requests for specific installations, but also the technical requirements applicable in laser cutting and welding tasks, to help ensure an optimal process.

If order processing has already been carried out in our TechCenter feasibility or process stability studies, the question of which laser sources to use has already been answered. We generally work with global laser system manufacturers such as Trumpf, Rofin-Sinar, IPG and Laserline, as well as with OTC Daihen and Fronius in the arc welding area.

TruDisk is the most frequently integrated laser by weil technology

The most frequently used type of high power solid-state laser used is the TruDisk by Trumpf Laser GmbH, which can be used in both laser cutting and laser welding processes. This unit is an optimal choice for meeting our requirements for precision and reproducibility in cutting and welding results. The advantage of using the laser here is in creating smooth and burr-free edges that require no reworking, and in very small heat affected zones (low warpage).

In some applications, this type of laser was useful as a beam source in combination with scanner optics, in which the movable mirror guides the focusing optics of the laser beam. The fast adjusting movements by the mirror provide highly dynamic and precise welding results.

Spatter-free laser welding

An increasing number of applications require not only almost spatter-free laser welding, but also outstanding weld seam quality with no spatter. The “BrightLine Weld” option from the TruDisk laser gets us one step closer to this goal. Primarily developed to weld copper and reduce weld spatter, “BrightLine Weld” offers the ability to create high-quality weld seams without end craters or seam collapse. The system prevents spatter first by welding with a high feed rate, and second with a “2in1 fibre” patented by Trumpf – two fibre optics in a single fibre – where two laser beams with different power distribution act on the weld seam. The result is reduced energy input and no component distortion, faster feed speeds / welding speeds, 40% lower energy consumption and lower levels of contamination on components and protective equipment.

High power diode laser by Laserline

Diode lasers by Laserline (LDF, LDM) are also frequently used. In tasks with lower performance requirements, such as with sheet metal up to 0.8 mm thick, or lower requirements for the characteristics and appearance of the weld seam, the ease of integrating this option into welding machines and lower investment and operating cost make it possible to substitute diode lasers in laser applications.

High power CW ytterbium fibre laser systems by IPG

weil technology uses laser sources from IPG primarily for applications in laser cutting systems.

Arc welding vs LASER

Arc welding or electrode welding is a manual process. The electrode used melts, evaporating inert gases and forming slag that protects the weld seam from external influences.

Inert gases are also used in inert gas welding; these flow around the electrode and melt and replace atmospheric oxygen. Inert gas welding can be fully automated. If specifically requested by a customer, for instance, we can integrate a tungsten inert gas welding source (WIG) into a raw material production system. In this process, a non-melting tungsten electrode is used to achieve a high-quality seam with slower welding speeds than in gas metal arc welding (manual metal arc welding MMAW). Metal inert gas welding (MIG) also uses inert gases – gases that do not chemically react with the melt – and is best suited for non-ferrous metals and high alloy steels. If reactive gases are used that change the composition of the melt – such as in un- or non-alloyed steels – the process is called metal active gas welding (MAG).

Slags and an obvious weld bead are the external signs of MAG welding, while a lack of through-weld, joint defects or the formation of corrosive areas are underlying disadvantages. Another problem is obvious weld spatter, which requires manual reworking to remove and makes the overall process more expensive.

10x faster speeds with lasers

Another advantage of the laser are the 10x higher speeds that can be achieved over MIG or MAG welding. No additional materials are required, but they can be added if necessary. Other advantages of laser welding:

  • Laser welding results in low warpage; faster process speeds allow for more beneficial welding strategies;
  • A laser weld seam requires no seam preparation, since the single layer welding penetration depth (> 10 mm) eliminates the need for expensive weld preparations;
  • Laser welded seams do not have to be reworked, since the width-depth ratio of 1:5 creates an aesthetically pleasing seam appearance that normally does not require reworking.
  • Laser welding is not only technically impressive, but offers major economic advantages for users when applied correctly.

Automated welding – excellent reproducibility with high-quality clamping tools

The laser beam, just a few µ in width, requires precise guidance to hit the welded sheet metal edges, melt and bond them. Automated clamping technology is required to clamp the weld seam perfectly and completely over its entire length, holding it in place for the entirety of the welding process.

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