How Laser Scanners Optimise Cutting and Welding Processes
Published on : Tuesday 02-05-2023
Laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon are used in order to meet the high requirements in automation processes.
Automated processes in the metal industry ensure consistently high product quality and process reliability. In laser welding and laser cutting, the high degree of automation requires extremely precise tool guidance. Laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon are used in order to meet the high requirements in automation processes. They intervene even before the cutting and welding work and create precise 2D/3D profiles. Based on this measurement data, exact tool guidance is possible.
Speed, flexibility and consistently high product quality are required for automated welding and cutting operations in the metal industry. Depending on the manufacturer, the processes can be very individual and complex. Laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon are used to achieve high efficiency. An exact profile of the object to be edited is created before the tool is applied. The tools can then be precisely positioned to carry out the required operational steps.
Laser scanners use the triangulation principle for two-dimensional profile acquisition. They emit a laser beam which is expanded into a laser line. This hits the measuring object. The laser light is reflected by the surface of the target and the diffuse component is imaged on a highly sensitive receiving matrix in the sensor. In addition to distance information (z-axis), the controller also uses this camera image to calculate the position along the laser line (x-axis). These measured values are then output in a two-dimensional coordinate system that is fixed with respect to the sensor. In the case of moving objects or when the sensors are traversed, 3D measurement values can thus also be determined.
3D scan of components before laser cladding
The laser processing of components is versatile. It ranges from cutting and welding work to coating. Mechanical components are measured three-dimensionally before machining in order to derive the optimum machining processes from the profile data obtained. Laser profile scanners from Micro-Epsilon are used for this purpose.
Different sensors can be used depending on the intended use, such as repair, 3D printing, joining or coating and component size. The scanCONTROL 3050-50/BL is ideally suited. This sensor offers a measuring range of 50 mm, with 2,048 measurement points per profile and a measuring rate of up to 10,000 profiles per second. The blue laser line enables precise measurements on metallic surfaces.
Advantages of the laser scanner over a camera solution
In contrast to a camera solution, laser profile scanners enable the creation of a 3D model and are also surface-independent in terms of contrast. The higher precision, as well as the various integration and processing possibilities of the acquired measurement data, also offer significant advantages in this application. Compared to tactile measurements, the required cycle time is considerably shorter thanks to non-contact measurements.
Optimising weld seams with profile measurements
Inrotech A/S in Denmark relies on sensors from Micro-Epsilon to achieve optimal quality of weld seams in a fully automatic process. The company has developed the so-called "Inrotech-Crawler" which calculates welding processes in advance before carrying them out. Therefore, the robot uses the precise measurement values provided by Micro-Epsilon’s powerful laser profile scanners.
Blue Laser Technology
In addition to the red standard laser, Blue Laser Technology is available for measurements on demanding surfaces. Micro-Epsilon holds a patent for measurements with blue lasers on red-hot glowing objects exceeding 700°C and (semi-)transparent objects. Transparent objects include plastics, glass, adhesives, silicones, paints, coatings, Plexiglas and seals. For many measurement objects, Blue Laser scanners offer crucial advantages compared to sensors with a red laser diode. Onto organic, glowing materials or semi-transparent objects, the blue laser line is sharply imaged which enables stable and precise results.
The use of Micro-Epsilon laser scanners in metal processing ensures high product quality in dynamic processes. Accurate profiling prior to the application of machining tools reduces scrap and increases throughput. Laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon are among the most powerful profile sensors worldwide in terms of accuracy and stability. They work quickly and efficiently even on shiny metallic surfaces and are therefore predestined for automated processes in metalworking.
Micro-Epsilon India Private Limited, Pune. Tel.: +91 20 4913 1030. Fax: +91 20 4913 1001. Email: email@example.com
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