Guidelines for Laser Welding of Sheet Metal
Small and mid-sized sheet fabrication companies can now profit from the potential of laser beam welding (LBW) in modern sheet metal processing. Laser beam welding is a well-established process in quality-critical applications with volumes above 100,000 parts per year. These laser systems are highly automated with dedicated tooling and part handling. This is the typical application that justifies the use of highly automated LBW systems.
On the other hand, TRUMPF, as an example of a mid-size manufacturing company, has been utilizing its own machine tools (i.e., laser beam cutting, punching, and bending machines) for production of low-volume machine components.
H. Zefferer and T. Morris
International Welding Fair: Schweissen & Schneiden 2005
The 16th International Trade Fair, Schweissen & Schneiden, sponsored by the German Society for Welding and Allied Processes, Deutscher Verband für Schweißen (DVS) will be held September 1217 at the Messe Essen fair site in Essen, Germany.
This event, dubbed as the "Olympics of Welding Engineering," has been held every four years since 1952.
About 1000 exhibitors from all over the globe will show their innovations to around 70,000 visitors expected from more than 90 nations. The occupied fair area will consist of 17 fair halls and the Galeria - Figs. 1, 2.
According to the motto "Experience Technology Live," it will be possible to see technological innovations and advances in action in a lively, graphic, and practical way in the exhibition halls - Fig. 3.
A Look at Remote Laser Beam Welding
A remote laser beam welding system (RWS) uses the beam from a high-powered CO2 laser together with a moving mirror to apply the energy to weld sheet metal components. The advent of high-powered CO2 lasers with excellent beam quality has made this technology feasible for working areas of 1 m x 1 m or more. The benefits of this process include faster cycle times and smaller "footprint" (plant floorspace) as compared to traditional processes.
While remote welding is a relatively new laser application, today there are more than 50 RWS installations in actual production and many more installations to come. While lasers are a relatively expensive welding power source as compared to resistance or arc welding processes such as gas metal arc welding, the overall system cost is similar and the RWS process offers many advantages.
2005 AWS Welding Show in Review
Big D received an A+ from everyone in attendance at this year’s AWS Convention and Welding Show at the Dallas Convention Center. This year’s event had it all: Eager welding students trying to win a spot to compete in their trade’s Olympics, top-notch welders and young engineers looking to better their employment positions, welding researchers presenting their latest findings, showgoers checking out the latest welding products, and exhibitors seeking to reach the South’s welding fabricators.
Kotecki Addresses AWS Annual Business Meeting
President-elect Damian J. Kotecki of Lincoln Electric Co. set the tone for his upcoming presidency when addressing the large crowd assembled for the AWS Annual Business Meeting, when he said, “I want to emphasize AWS is not restricted to a domestic presence. We are a global organization.” He noted that many of our members find jobs and live internationally, and of the AWS Sustaining Corporate members, 121 are international.
A. Cullison, M. R. Johnsen, and H. M Woodward
Make Laser Assist Gas Delivery Flexible
Today’s ever-changing world mandates that laser job shops process a wider range of materials to maintain market differentiation. Keeping sight of cost competitiveness, fabricators working with these materials are requiring that assist gas delivery systems provide advanced levels of flexibility.
Following is an evaluation of the various assist gas supply modes for cutting galvanized steel, mild steel, titanium, aluminum, and stainless materials.
Table 1 illustrates the pressure and flow requirements for the various materials mentioned at 16-gauge, 1⁄8 in. and 1⁄4 in. thickness. Greater thicknesses are achievable with today’s higher wattage resonators; however, 16 gauge to 1⁄4 in. represents an adequate cross section that sheds light on assist gas delivery challenges.
One Head Does It All
Demands for innovative manufacturing techniques are high. The main targets for these techniques are greater flexibility and higher productivity at lower costs. In many cases, this seems to be impossible; nevertheless, possibilities can be discovered if process chains are analyzed and consequential methods to shorten or integrate them are found.
Sheet metal fabrication is one example of a complex process chain. Nearly all component assemblies being manufactured from sheet metal are produced by a sequence of cutting and joining techniques.
What Makes a Winning Weld: Tips from the Pros
Creating a weld is no easy job - practicing ahead of time, trying to get comfortable, and using the correct machine settings and electrodes - are all key elements. It also takes skill, experience, hard work, patience, and dedication.
But that does not discourage Andrew Miller, Rick Prince, and Ryan Rummel from giving it their all.
Making welds to help complete projects is part of what makes their jobs worthwhile. In fact, they posses about 54 years of welding experience among them.
The Fiber Laser — A Newcomer for Material Welding and Cutting
The first reports on the use of lasers for material processing in commercial applications were published in the early seventies. For many years, the CO2 laser remained the only laser of choice when deep penetration keyhole welding was required. A significant step forward was made when continuous wave (CW) solid-state lasers, in the form of the lamp-pumped Nd:YAG laser, became commercially available, covering at least part of the power range of CO2 lasers, and introducing the benefits and advantages of optical fiber delivery of the laser beam to the workpiece. More recently, the laser industry has seen -improvements in these existing technologies, with the introduction of the diffusion-cooled, or slab geometry, CO2 laser and the diode-pumped version of the Nd:YAG laser, as well as development of completely new laser sources, such as the direct diode laser, the disc laser, and the fiber laser. Since the output powers of the fiber laser have exceeded one kilowatt, the materials processing industry has gained interest in this new technology as an addition to, or a possible replacement for, the more conventional CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers currently used.
Anatomy of a Welding Tournament
Snow flurries, gusty winds, and temperatures in the low 20s did not deter the 110 students from 15 schools in four states, dozens of instructors, guests, and volunteers from traveling to New Castle, Ind., to participate in the 27th Annual Mid-West Welding Tournament, held March 9–11.
Timed with impressive precision, from early morning to evening, wave after wave of five-student teams entered the New Castle Area Vocational School (NCAVS) weld lab and classrooms. They performed their projects and written exams, then exited the building and climbed on their buses, leaving just in time for the arriving buses to discharge the next wave of welders who entered the lab to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
At times, the hallways were crowded with bustling lines of students in protective welding gear and carrying heavy tool boxes moving in and out of the building — resembling a rush hour scene at a busy commuter station.
H. M. Woodward
WELDING RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT
*Determination of Optimal
Welding Conditions with a Controlled
A constraints-based modeling approach reduced the risks inherent in developing a high-performance welding electrode specification for U.S. Navy applications
Welding Journal (ISSN 0043-2296) is published monthly by the American Welding Society for $90.00 per year in the United States and possessions, $130 per year in foreign countries: $6.00 per single issue for AWS members and $8.00 per single issue for nonmembers. American Welding Society is located at 550 NW LeJeune Rd., Miami, FL 33126-5671; telephone (305) 443-9353. Periodicals postage paid in Miami, Fla., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Welding Journal, 550 NW LeJeune Rd., Miami, FL 33126-5671.
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WELDING JOURNAL - August 2005, Volume 84, Number 8