ARC-EYE Adaptive by Valk Welding: qualified welds and competitive advantage

How can we meet stringent mechanical welding requirements when there is a shortage of (qualified) welders and time is a precious commodity? Belgian precision work specialist Alteco, which manufacturers pressure vessels for the chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries, looks to an adaptive welding robot plug-in developed by Valk Welding as a solution.

Adaptive Weld seam tracking

'Adaptive Welding' is a plug-in for the ARC-EYE CSS (Circular Scanning Sensor), a robot camera with a laser sensor system designed for Panasonic welding robots. The ARC-EYE provides precise real-time weld seam tracking via three-dimensional measurements, and the Adaptive plug-in simultaneously adjusts welding and pendulum parameters automatically, including welding speed, welding current, welding voltage, pendulum amplitude and more. This enables even the most complex welds to be performed by robotic welding, even in challenging materials such as stainless steel.

Meeting strict quality standards

"Our pressure vessels are subject to inspections and legislation", says Sam Jaspers, production supervisor and welding engineer at Alteco. Here, series and custom pressure vessels with many full penetration welds are still welded manually, including those made of carbon steel, duplex, 316 and nickel alloys, some of which are inspected using radiography. But the company is losing a lot of time due to the difficulty in finding qualified manual welders for this work – time that the highly specialised staff would prefer to spend on complex pieces and materials. Alteco will bridge this gap with the consistent quality and efficiency of its new Valk Welding welding robot system, with the adaptive ARC-EYE being the deciding factor.

For tolerances and seam geometry

ARC-EYE Adaptive Welding provides a solution to Alteco's biggest challenge: consistently and completely making full penetration welds (and some fillet welds) during robotic welding. "Every part of a vessel has tolerances, including in terms of ovality and thickness, but also with regard to weld seam preparation", explains Sam Jaspers. "We nominally fit to a gap of 3mm, but that is obviously not completely uniform around the entire circumference of the vessel. To correct this in real-time and have the most stable process possible, the adaptive ARC-EYE will be indispensable."

Many more applications

The real-time adjustment of welding parameters is not only advantageous for similar complex welds and deviating weld geometry; it also automatically corrects volume deviations due to product deformation and deviating weld and torch positions. After just a few trial welds, the adaptive ARC-EYE learns to intuitively make all these adjustments according to customer requirements.

Contact us at info@valkwelding.com for more information.

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