Real-Time dynamic control system for laser welding.

Final Results and Impact Section

The final RADICLE system developed in the project delivers a new laser welding monitoring and adaptive control architecture integrating multi-sensor data to deliver high–quality weld joints. This will help companies across different industry sectors produce laser welded components – Smarter, Faster and to Higher Quality, Reducing Post Manufacturing Inspections Costs.
The RADICLE project has created:

    A modular system allowing users to configure the system to their specific applications. The system includes:
  • Photodiodes (off-axis and co-axial).
  • Seam tracking camera.
  • Permatrack software that provides live weld quality feedback to the operator on welding stability.
  • Co-axial process zone imaging camera.
  • Keyhole depth monitoring sensor.
  • Microphone for acoustic emission analysis.

To conclude, the RADICLE system is capable of process monitoring and alerting the operator to welds that may potentially contain defects (by being made using inappropriate parameters). The RADICLE system will not converge onto ‘good’ parameters, indeed, this a functionality that the consortium consider undesirable and would rather use process window maps to start welds with known, good parameters. RADICLE cannot control parameters beyond the adaption of the seam path to compensate for minor variations in desired seam path. Key weld defects, such as porosity requires measurement and analysis within timeframes that are currently beyond the latency experienced in data acquisition and processing. Furthermore, hardware latency further extends any potential system response time.

Whilst the final Radicle system has not fully delivered on the original project objectives, there has been significant progress made despite the difficulties encountered and the final system gives Permanova and BitAddict a future commercial opportunity with the field of laser weld process monitoring system that is comparable and has additional benefits over existing systems. It also delivers the end users need to have confirmation that acceptable welding quality is being achieved and done repeatedly.

Components of the final Radicle system will be commercially available from Permanova now and are developed to TRL level 8.

Latest development

Welcome to RADICLE

The RADICLE project aims to create a multi-sensor, real-time adaptive control system for laser welding that can deliver zero defects.

The global market for laser systems for materials processing exceeds $10 billion per annum1. The macro materials processing market accounts for around $1.5 billion of this total and the laser welding segment accounts for $317 million in 2013 with an annual growth rate of 5%.
The report identified the key growth sectors for laser welding to be:

Project Goals