Subsequent processes after laser welding - differentials for automobiles | episode 5

Subsequent processes after laser welding

At the of ARNOLD RAVENSBURG The systems supplied for welding the differentials are usually used to remove smoke and spatter residue from the components using a brushing station. With the last step, there is a non-destructive quality test using ultrasonic technology and then the components are returned to the conveyor system and from there go to the departments that follow our production line.

 

Brush station

When welding with solid-state lasers, there is a risk that unwanted weld spatter will stick to the component. This spatter should then be removed with brushes specially made for the components. This can be done with robots or with ones adapted to the process brushing machines to be executed. Due to the wide variety of component geometries, brushing is often a complex process and requires designs that are tailored to the workpieces. Incidentally, care should be taken when customers demand spatter-free workpieces. We recommend rejecting this.

Ultrasound check

The inspection of the weld seam for correct seam depth, detection of cracks and pores as an additional quality check happens at the end of the process chain in the ultrasonic testing station.

In immersive ultrasonic testing, the test object is completely immersed in a water bath. Alternatively, a jet of water with a nozzle (bubbler) can be directed onto a suitable surface. With both methods, an ultrasonic signal is applied to the weld seam via the medium of water and the reflected signal is evaluated using software adapted to the process for features such as pores and cracks as well as the depth of the weld seam.

Before the test, the mostly still very hot components are cooled with air to a maximum test temperature of 60 – 80 degrees. After testing, the differentials are usually dried with a hot air blower and then, if the ultrasonic test shows no abnormalities, fed to an outfeed conveyor or a storage system.