Efficiency of Robotic Lasers

Dec 16, 2013

Technology is continuing to evolve and advance to help improve the entire robotic process. This is seen with the laser cutting solutions on robots, providing even more cost savings and higher precision. New fiber lasers and disk lasers have amazing beam quality allowing them to penetrate deeper and faster.

Robot­ic laser cut­ting solu­tions pro­mote cost sav­ings by occu­py­ing less floor space than a tra­di­tion­al five-axis laser cut­ting machine, and opti­mizes pro­duc­tion layouts. 

Recent improve­ments have been made in diode lasers, mak­ing lasers more effec­tive for a wide range of appli­ca­tions. The new fiber lasers and disk lasers have a bet­ter beam qual­i­ty, mean­ing the user can go deep­er and faster.

While man­u­al laser weld­ing is still used in den­tal labs, med­ical device man­u­fac­tur­ing, jew­el­ry mak­ing, and research, most indus­tri­al appli­ca­tions like auto­mo­tive, aero­space, and heavy equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing are using robot­ic laser weld­ing. Regard­less of whether it is a hard or flex­i­ble automa­tion sys­tem, almost every laser weld­ing sys­tem is auto­mat­ed. A robot can trav­el at high speeds with high path accu­ra­cy as speed and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty increase, where­as a human oper­a­tor cannot. 

ABB offers new laser cut­ting soft­ware, Robot­Ware Cut­ting and Robot­Stu­dio Cut­ting Pow­er­Pac, that makes it easy for users to get their laser cut­ting appli­ca­tions oper­a­tional. The new soft­ware makes pro­gram­ming com­plex cut­ting paths and shapes effi­cient. Users can cre­ate and test pro­grams in their offices, which max­i­mizes up-time and effi­cien­cy. The soft­ware is equipped with an Iter­a­tive Learn­ing Con­trol algo­rithm that con­stant­ly improves per­for­mance and accuracy.

ABB’s IRB 4400 robots have been out­fit­ted with a com­plete laser cut­ting pack­age includ­ing laser source, cut­ting head, and soft­ware. This laser cut­ting pack­age uses True­Move, which ensures that regard­less of speed, the robot will fol­low its pro­grammed path for high effi­cien­cy and quality.

As tech­nol­o­gy pro­gress­es, remote laser weld­ing, hot-wire laser cladding, and laser addi­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing are emerg­ing as prime appli­ca­tions. Lasers allow the user to weld on mate­ri­als that might not have been weld­able in the past, along with greater free­dom and flex­i­bil­i­ty, lead­ing to high­er efficiency.

Lin­coln Elec­tric is involved with robot remote and scan­ner-based remote laser weld­ing for auto­mo­tive and appli­ance com­po­nents. Remote laser weld­ing is tar­get­ed to replace resis­tance spot weld­ing in many applications.

Laser cladding uses a focused laser beam as the heat source, result­ing in a bond with supe­ri­or strength and sur­face prop­er­ties. It allows for weld­ing with exot­ic mate­ri­als. Anoth­er advan­tage of robot­ic laser cladding is a rapid ther­mal cycle.

Hybrid laser arc weld­ing cou­ples laser tech­nol­o­gy with gas met­al arc weld­ing. It is an auto­mat­ed process that com­bines the high­ly focused laser with the joint fill­ing capa­bil­i­ty of the met­al inert gas process, result­ing in thick welds. It allows a true 3‑D weld­ing process, prov­ing effi­cien­cy in a sin­gle pass at a high speed.

Robots​.com offers robot sys­tems that can be inte­grat­ed for laser cut­ting or weld­ing appli­ca­tions. If you are inter­est­ed in automat­ing a laser robot into your pro­duc­tion line, con­tact us online or at 8777626881.

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