Radicle is developing a system that will integrate NDT of a weld into the process, performing a detailed inspection in real-time while the weld is being completed. This will support the production of defect-free welds, minimising the need for post-weld inspection and potential reworking.
The adaptive control system will use a variety of sensors to monitor pre- and post-weld measurements, as well as taking care of in-process monitoring, control and fault prevention.
Reducing greatly the need for NDT of the parts and getting rid of the time, energy and material wastage associated with rework would benefit manufacturers on multiple levels: the Radicle consortium predicts a potential 30 per cent increase in laser welding productivity, with corresponding reductions in energy usage and emissions.
The biggest beneficiaries of the system would be the automotive, energy and aerospace sectors, where laser welding is widely used to fabricate high-value parts. A case study reporting full results will be published at the project’s conclusion at the end of 2017.
The organisations on the project consortium, led by the Manufacturing Technology Centre, are GE, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, Centro Ricerche Fiat, TWI, Laser Optical Engineering, Permanova and VTT.
For more information visit www.radiclelaser.eu or contact us.