ISMR December 2023 / January 2024 | Page 59


Welding inspection and optimisation

At this September ’ s SCHWEISSEN & SCHNEIDEN trade fair for the joining , cutting and surfacing technology industries in Essen , Germany , Vitronic highlighted three solutions for quality assurance in automated welding processes for automotive manufacturing .
Monitoring laser welding processes
The European industry is working at full speed to set up its own production chains for e-vehicle batteries : more than 20 gigafactories are currently being planned . One of the most important processes is laser welding to join lightweight materials and small components . For quality and costs to be right , however , the processes must function stably . Deviations and errors must be detected and eliminated immediately before rejects are produced and the line is stopped . “ The VIRO WSM inspection system
In-line inspection of welds with VIRO WSI .
Vitronic ’ s production plant in Wiesbaden , Germany .
monitors the welding process in real-time and reports anomalies outside the tolerances . As a result , NOK parts can be immediately identified and automatically reworked ; the causes of defects can be quickly found and eliminated . The system has been used for years by companies in battery production , primarily in Asia , and has recently also become available for European manufacturers ,” explained Vitronic .
Automatic weld seam testing
Defective welds can get vehicle manufacturers into serious trouble . Zero-defect tolerance applies to safetyrelevant parts . No part with a defective weld ( for example on axles , bodywork or batteries ) may be delivered . However , manual testing is expensive and can be prone to error .
“ The VIRO WSI is an optical inspection system that inspects every single weld seam automatically
and detects relevant defects from 0.1mm . Since the inspection takes place directly in the welding line , it is possible to quickly intervene in the upstream welding process . This consistently reduces defects , optimises processes and avoids downtime , rework and rejects ,” continued the company .
One area of application for VIRO WSI is the automated quality inspection of battery trays , the central element in the body of electric vehicles . The system can inspect more than 100 individual weld seams and detect weld spatter or other contaminants on surfaces , as well as missing or ill-fitting screw connections .
Optimising welding lines
“ Guaranteeing high quality and zero defects while working economically : these two goals are difficult to reconcile . The solution is permanent process optimisation . With our Weldloop software , weld line optimisation can be accelerated . It allows the data from the weld seam inspection to be linked with the data from the welding process , evaluated and visually displayed . The causes of deviations and defects can be found and eliminated quickly , with minimal downtime . Conducting long-term analyses , further optimisation potential can be uncovered ,” said Vitronic .
Since its foundation in 1984 , Vitronic has been growing for almost 40 years . The company is currently represented on five continents in over 80 countries with 1,400 employees . Development and production of Vitronic systems are at the company ’ s headquarters in Wiesbaden , Germany . n
www . vitronic . com

Goebel ’ s cordless riveter

Goebel ’ s 18V cordless riveter line features eight special lightweight tools . All the cordless riveters in this line feature the latest brushless BLDC motor technology . The integrated LED light in each tool illuminates the working area .
Each tool in the set contains two quick-change rechargeable batteries with LED battery indicator . The Li-Ion batteries ( 18V 2.0Ah 36Wh ) are at the heart of the powerful processing tools . The entire line is operated with the same battery model .
“ Operation or stroke setting of the units for the optimal setting process can be easily adjusted via the integrated control panel at the touch of a button . Other features of this line are the transparent mandrel collectors of the three blind rivet setters . These three blind rivet setters also have a patented mandrel retention function and integrated automatic setting mode for series assembly . This function allows the blind rivet nut to be processed without pressing the trigger button ,” explained Goebel .
Two other special processing tools in this line are the battery-powered lockbolt setter and the battery-powered punching tool for hexagonal holes .
In the first quarter of 2024 , Goebel GmbH will open its new 3,800m ² production facility in Erkrath ( Germany ) with over 70 specialised production machines . It plans to produce a variety of different blind rivets and toggle fasteners that carry the “ Made in Germany ” label . n
www . goebel-group . com / en /
ISMR December 2023 / January 2024 | ismr . net | 59