Laser welding adaptive control system

Radicle Objectives

Overall Aim: Develop a laser welding adaptive control system that can integrate sensor data from all 3 loops in “real-time” to adjust the laser parameters and deliver welded joints with zero defects.

Further develop a detailed specification of the laser welding equipment, processes and parameters for 3-4 high value, safety critical components in the power, automotive and/or aerospace sectors including the material specification, type, size and frequency of defects present and estimated rework/scrappage costs.

Increased scientific understanding of the signal generated, for at least three different commercially available in-process monitoring sensors, when the possible range of defect types and sizes in the representative industry samples from 1.

Develop a plume analysis sensor system based on rapid digital image processing (>1.5kHz) and a knowledge base to adjust the laser-welding parameters during the welding operation.

Analyse the signal from existing laser depth measurement systems and incorporate signal into control algorithm to control welds of up to 20mm deep.

Develop an acoustic monitoring sensor, capable of sensing keyhole instability and relating this to at least three different weld defect types, with a detection frequency of at least 10kHz.

Creation of a high-speed adaptive control algorithm capable of multitask processing of data from the sensors and providing rapid feedback (1ms – 10ms) to the laser welding system, being able to simultaneously control at least three laser welding parameters.

Integrate the RADICLE adaptive control system with a laser processing system (TRL 5) and validate response time is less than 10ms for at least two representative industry samples from 1.

Create a RADICLE system demonstrator by integrating the adaptive control system with MTC’s industrial scale laser welding cell.

Demonstrate the RADICLE system on 3- 4 industrial case study components and prove the concept of zero defects which leads to a reduction in rework of at least 90%.

Test the system in multiple runs at high throughput rate to validate (by end-users) that the adaptive control system can converge on optimal parameters quickly and increase the productivity by 30%. Demonstrate at TRL 6.

Create a viable business plan to maximise the chances of post-project commercial success.