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  • 1.
    Elefante, Arianna
    et al.
    University of Bari, Physics Department, Via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Maggipinto, Tommaso
    University of Bari, Physics Department, Via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy.
    Ancona, Antonio
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. IFN-CNR Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, Physics Department, Via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy.
    Detecting beam offsets in laser welding of closed-square-butt joints by wavelet analysis of an optical process signal2019In: Optics and Laser Technology, ISSN 0030-3992, E-ISSN 1879-2545, Vol. 109, p. 178-185Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Robotized laser beam welding of closed-square-butt joints is sensitive to the positioning of the laser beam with respect to the joint since even a small offset may result in a detrimental lack of sidewall fusion. An evaluation of a system using a photodiode aligned coaxial to the processing laser beam confirms the ability to detect variations of the process conditions, such as when there is an evolution of an offset between the laser beam and the joint. Welding with different robot trajectories and with the processing laser operating in both continuous and pulsed mode provided data for this evaluation. The detection method uses wavelet analysis of the photodetector signal that carries information of the process condition revealed by the plasma plume optical emissions during welding. This experimental data have been evaluated offline. The results show the potential of this detection method that is clearly beneficial for the development of a system for welding joint tracking.

  • 2.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Monitoring and control of laser beam butt joint welding2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Laser beam welding is one important technology in automated production. It has several advantages, such as the ability to produce deep and narrow welds giving limited heat induced deformations. The laser beam welding process is however sensitive to how the high power laser is positioned with regards to the joint position. Therefore, to achieve a seam without defects, the joint position needs to be measured and controlled. The laser beam welding process is also sensitive to variations in joint gap width. Costly joint preparations are required to achieve the tight fit up tolerances needed to produce high quality welds. However, the demand on joint preparation can be somewhat relaxed by allowing the joint gap width to vary and controlling the process. One way of doing this is to control the filler wire feed rate based on joint gap width measurements.This thesis presents experimental studies on how to track closed-square-butt joints and also how to handle varying square-butt joints in laser beam welding.

    Different optical sensor systems are evaluated for their performance to estimate the joint position and the joint gap width. The possibility of detecting beam offsets is studied by using sensors systems based on a photo diode and on a spectrometer. Estimations of the joint position, to be used for closed loop position control, is studied by using a camera and external LED illumination. Variations in joint gap width is evaluated using a spectrometer, a camera and a laser profile sensor. Experimental results show that both the photodiode system and the spectometer system is able to detect beam offsets and that the beam position can be estimated with sufficient accuracy when welding closed-square-butt joints. It is also shown that the joint gap width can be estimated by the selected sensor systems and that the estimates can be used for controlling the wire feed rate in order to obtain a constant weld geometry and avoid defects related to the gap width.

  • 3.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System.
    Optical detection of joint position in zero gap laser beam welding2017Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis presents an experimental study on how to track zero gaps between metal sheets to be joined by laser beam butt welding. Automated laser beam welding is gaining interest due to its ability to produce narrow and deep welds giving limited heat input and therefore less distortions compared to other processes, such as arc-welding. The automated laser beam welding process is however sensitive to how the high power laser is positioned with regards to the joint position. Deviations from the joint position may occur due to inaccuracies of the welding robot and fixturing, changes in joint geometry, process induced distortions, etc. Welding with an offset from the joint position can result inlack of sidewall fusion, a serious defect that is hard to detect. This work develops and evaluates three monitoring systems to be used during welding in order to be able to later control the laser beam spot position. (i) A monitoring systemis developed for three different photo diodes, one for the visual spectrum of the process emissions, one for the infrared spectrum, and one for the reflected highpower laser light. The correlation between the signals from the photodiodes and the welding position relative to the joint is analysed using a change detection algorithm. In this way an indication of a path deviation is given. (ii) A visual camera with matching illumination and optical filters is integrated into the laser beam welding tool in order to obtain images of the area in front of the melt pool. This gives a relatively clear view of the joint position even during intense spectral disturbances emitted from the process, and by applying animage processing algorithm and a model based filtering method the joint positionis estimated with an accuracy of 0.1 mm. (iii) By monitoring the spectral emissions from the laser induced plasma plume using a high speed and high resolution spectrometer, the plasma electron temperature can be estimated from the intensities of two selected spectral lines and this is correlated to the welding position and can be used for finding the joint position.

  • 4.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Automation Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Automation Systems.
    Monitoring of laser beam welding by a non-intrusive optical sensor system using photodiodes2015In: Proceedings of JOM 18 International conference on joining materials, Helsingör, Danmark, april 26-29 2015, JOM-institute , 2015, p. 1-14Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Monitoring and control of automated laser beam welding is necessary in order to increase weld quality and to optimise the process. This paper presents an evaluation of an optic monitoring system using photodiodes, integrated coaxial into the laser welding tool to monitor the optical electromagnetic emissions from the process. Three photodiodes are used, one for the visual spectra, one for the reflected laser light and one for the infrared spectra.A survey of previous research regarding monitoring of welding using photodiodes have been conducted, it indicated the need for development of a high bandwidth monitoring system able to capture the fast dynamic events of the welding process. Based on this a monitoring system was developed and the frequency components of the monitored signals was analysed. Welding experiments, using a 1 μm YAG laser on nickel-based alloy sheet metal of different thicknesses, has also been conducted in order to evaluate the correlation between monitored signals and change of parameters effecting the weld quality. Laser power and laser focus was changed during the experiments.I was shown that a bandwidth of 30 kHz for the monitoring system would be sufficient to capture the interesting components of the signals from the photodiodes. A clear correlation between signal level from the sensor monitoring the infrared spectra and weld penetration was found and also a correlation between reflected laser light and laser beam focus. High intensity peaks was found in the signal from the sensor monitoring the visual spectra. It is assumed, but not confirmed, that they show the formation plasma in the key hole.

  • 5.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Joint tracking in zero gap laser beam welding using a vision sensor2016In: The 7th International Swedish Production Symposium, SPS16, Conference Proceedings: 25th – 27th of October 2016, Lund: Swedish Production Academy , 2016, p. 1-7Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper describes a robust vision sensor system that can find very narrow gaps between metal sheets to be butt welded together. The use of automated laser beam welding is seen as a key enabler for efficient manufacturing by enabling narrow and deep welds with a limited heat affected zone and low thermal distortion of the welded components. It is sensitive to positioning the laser beam with respect to the joint position. Even a small off-set from the actual joint could result in detrimental lack of fusion. The system comprises a CMOS camera with optic filters integrated in the welding optics and appropriate LED illumination of the work piece. By analysing the spectral emissions during welding, illumination and matching optic filters have been chosen in a spectral range where the process disturbances are relatively low. In this way it has been shown possible to detect the joint position even during harsh welding conditions. Preliminary results from the first experiments show promising results, however more tests will be performed using different weld geometries etc. to verify the robustness of the algorithm.

  • 6.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    A study on change point detection methods applied to beam offset detection in laser welding2019In: Procedia Manufacturing, E-ISSN 2351-9789, Vol. 6, p. 72-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents an experimental study where a photodiode integrated into a laser beam welding tool is used to monitor laser beam spot deviations fromthe joint, the beam offset. The photodiode system is cost effective and typically easy to implement in an industrial system. The selected photodiode is a silicondetector sensitive in the spectral range between 340-600nm which corresponds to the spectral emissions from the plasma plume. The welding application is closed-square-butt joint welding where a laser beam offset can cause lack of fusion in the resulting weld. The photodiode signal has been evaluated by two different change point detection methods, one off-line and one on-line method, with respect to their detection performance. Off-line methods can be used to guide post weld inspection and on-line methods have the potential to enable on-line adaptive control or the possibility to stop the process for repair. The performance of the monitoring system and the change point detection methods have been evaluated from data obtained during laser beam welding experiments conducted on plates of stainless steel. The results clearly indicates the possibility to detect beam offsets by photodiode monitoring.

  • 7.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Adaptive control of the filler wire rate during laser beam welding of squared butt joints with varying gap width2019In: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, ISSN 0268-3768, E-ISSN 1433-3015, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Adding filler wire control to autogenous laser beam welding of squared butt joints offers a means to widen up the tight fit-up tolerances associated with this process. When the gap width varies, the filler wire rate should be controlled to assure a constant geometry of the resulting weld seam. A dual mode sensing system is proposed to estimate the joint gap width and thereby control the filler wire rate. A vision camera integrated into the welding tool together with external LED illumination and a laser line projection enables two sensing modes, one surface feature extraction mode and one laser triangulation-based mode. Data from the both modes are fused in a Kalman filter, and comparisons show that the fusing of the data gives more robust estimation than estimates from each single mode. A feed-forward control system adaptively adjusts the filler wire rate based on the estimations ofthe joint gap width in front of the keyhole. The focus is on keeping the data processing simple and affordable, and the real-time performance of the sensor and control system has been evaluated by welding experiments. It is shown that the proposed system can be used for on-line control of the filler wire rate to achieve a constant weld geometry during varying joint gap widths

  • 8.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Ancona, Antonio
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    In-process Monitoring and Control of Robotized Laser Beam Welding of Closed Square Butt Joints2018In: Procedia Manufacturing, E-ISSN 2351-9789, Vol. 25, p. 511-516Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In robotized laser welding of technical zero gap closed square butt joints it is critical to position the laser beam correct with regardsto the joint. Welding with an offset from the joint may cause lack of sidewall fusion, a serious defect that is hard to detect and gives a weak weld . When using machined parts with gap and misalignment between the parts that is close to zero, existing joint tracking systems will probably fail to track the joint. A camera based system using LED illumination and matching optical filters is proposed in this paper to address this issue. A high dynamic range CMOS camera and the LED illumination is integrated into the laser tool. The camera captures images of the area in front of the melt pool where the joint is visible and an algorithm based on the Hough transform and a Kalman filter estimates the offset between the laser spot and the joint position. Welding experiments, using a 6 kW fiber laser, have been conducted to evaluate the performance of the system. Promising results are obtained that can be used in the further development of a closed loop controlled joint tracking system.

  • 9.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Ancona, Antonio
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. IFN-CNR Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, Physics Department, via Amendola 173, 70126 BARI, Italy.
    Monitoring of Varying Joint Gap Width During Laser Beam Welding by a Dual Vision and Spectroscopic Sensing System2017In: Physics Procedia, ISSN 1875-3892, E-ISSN 1875-3892, Vol. 89, p. 100-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A vision and spectroscopic system for estimation of the joint gap width in autogenous laser beam butt welding is presented. Variations in joint gap width can introduce imperfections in the butt joint seam, which in turn influence fatigue life and structural integrity. The aim of the monitoring approach explored here is to acquire sufficiently robust process data to be used to guide post inspection activities and/or to enable feedback control for a decreased process variability. The dual-sensing approach includes a calibrated CMOS camera and a miniature spectrometer integrated with a laser beam tool. The camera system includes LED illumination and matching optical filters and captures images of the area in front of the melt pool in order to estimate the joint gap width from the information in the image. The intensity of different spectral lines acquired by the spectrometer has been investigated and the correlation between the intensity of representative lines and the joint gap width has been studied. Welding experiments have been conducted using a 6 kW fiber laser. Results from both systems are promising, the camera system is able to give good estimations of the joint gap width, and good correlations between the signal from the spectrometer and the joint gap width have been found. However, developments of the camera setup and vision algorithm can further improve the joint gap estimations and more experimental work is needed in order to evaluate the robustness of the systems.

  • 10.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Ancona, Antonio
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. Physics Department, IFN-CNR Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, Bari, Italy.
    Robust vision-based joint tracking for laser welding of curved closed-square-butt joints2019In: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, ISSN 0268-3768, E-ISSN 1433-3015, Vol. 101, no 5-8, p. 1867-1978Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Robotized laser beam welding of closed-square-butt joints is sensitive to how the focused laser beam is positioned in relation to the joint, and existing joint tracking systems tend to fail in detecting the joint when the gap and misalignment between the work pieces are close to zero. A camera-based system is presented based on a high dynamic range camera operating with LED illumination at a specific wavelength and a matching optical filter. An image processing algorithm based on the Hough transform extracts the joint position from the camera images, and the joint position is then estimated using a Kalman filter. The filter handles situations, when the joint is not detectable in the image, e.g., when tack welds cover the joint. Surface scratches, which can be misinterpreted as being the joint, are handled by a joint curve prediction model based on known information about the nominal path defined by the robot program. The performance of the proposed system has been evaluated off line with image data obtained during several welding experiments.

  • 11.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Christiansson, Anna-Karin
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Ancona, Antonio
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. IFN-CNR Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, Physics Department, via Amendola 173, 70126 BARI, Italy.
    Vision and spectroscopic sensing for joint tracing in narrow gap laser butt welding2017In: Optics and Laser Technology, ISSN 0030-3992, E-ISSN 1879-2545, Vol. 96, p. 107-116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The automated laser beam butt welding process is sensitive to positioning the laser beam with respect to the joint because a small offset may result in detrimental lack of sidewall fusion. This problem is even more pronounced incase of narrow gap butt welding, where most of the commercial automatic joint tracing system fail to detect the exact position and size of the gap. In this work, adual vision and spectroscopic sensing approach is proposed to trace narrow gap butt joints during laser welding. The system consists of a camera with suitable illumination and matched optical filters and a fast miniature spectrometer. An image processing algorithm of the camera recordings has been developed in order to estimate the laser spot position relative the joint position. The spectral emissions from the laser induced plasma plume has been acquired by the spectrometer, and based on the measurements of the intensities of selected lines of the spectrum, the electron temperature signal has been calculated and correlated to variations of process conditions. The individual performances of these two systems have been experimentally investigated and evaluated offline by data from several welding experiments where artificial abrupt as well as gradual excursions of the laser beam out of the joint were produced. Results indicate thata combination of the information provided by the vision and spectroscopic systems is beneficial for development of a hybrid sensing system for joint tracing.

  • 12.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Beam offset detection in laser stakewelding of tee joints based on photodetectorsensing2019In: Procedia Manufacturing, E-ISSN 2351-9789, Vol. 36, p. 64-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents an experimental study where a photodetector is used in a laser beam welding tool to monitor beam deviations (beam offsets) in stake welding of tee joints. The aim is to obtain an early detection of deviations from the joint centerline in this type of welding where the joint is not visible from the top side. The photodetector used is a GaP diode sensitive in the spectral range 150-550 nm corresponding to the spectral emissions form the plasma plume during keyhole welding. The photodetector signal has been evaluated by change point detection methods with respect to their detection performance. Both an off-line and an on-line method have been evaluated. The off-line method can be used to guide post weld inspection and the on-line method has the potential to enable on-line adaptive position control and/or the possibility to stop the process for repair. The results shows that the proposed method can be used as a go/no go system and to guide post weld inspection.

  • 13.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Automation Systems.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Automation Systems.
    Vision systems for in‐process monitoring of laser beam welding2015In: Proceedings of JOM 18 International conference on joining materials, Helsingör, Danmark, april 26-29, 2015, JOM-Institute , 2015, p. 1-8Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the issue of evaluating an optical vision system to be integrated with a 1μm laser beam welding tool for process monitoring. The boundary conditions for the system performance and system nature imposed by the needs in industrial production is highlighted. Initial welding experiments have been executed in order to understand the applicability of the vision system. The evaluation includes considerations on the required sensor bandwidth. The need for time synchronized data is emphasized and the use of numerical algorithms for enhancing the estimation and detection performanceof the system is discussed. The results shows a good potential for the system to give robust process information to be used in monitoring and control.

  • 14.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Electrical and Automation Engineering.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Automation Systems.
    Eriksson, Ingemar
    GKN Aerospace, Trollhättan, Sweden.
    Optical Methods for In-Process Monitoring of Laser Beam Welding2014In: Proceedings of the 6th International Swedish Production Symposium 2014 / [ed] Stahre, Johan, Johansson, Björn & Björkman, Mats, 2014, p. 1-9Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the issue of evaluating and selecting optical sensors to be integrated with a 1μm laser beam welding system. The method used for this evaluation is mainly a survey of relevant research litterature. The result of this work is a matrix showing the different methods and distinct features related to relevant process conditions that can be estimated or detected with respective methods. This evaluation also includes considerations on the required sensor bandwidth in relation to inertia and time constants in the physical process.

  • 15.
    Sikström, Fredrik
    et al.
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System.
    Runnemalm, Anna
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System.
    Broberg, Patrik
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System.
    Nilsen, Morgan
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System.
    Svenman, Edvard
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Research Enviroment Production Technology West.
    Evaluation of non-contact methods for joint tracking in a laser beam welding application2016In: The 7th International Swedish Production Symposium, Conference Proceedings: 25th – 27th of October 2016, Lund: Swedish Production Symposium , 2016, p. 1-6Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of automated laser welding is a key enabler for resource efficient manufacturing in several industrial sectors. One disadvantage with laser welding is the narrow tolerance requirements in the joint fit-up. This is the main reason for the importance of joint tracking systems. This paper describes anevaluation of four non-contact measurement methods to measure the position, gap width and misalignment between superalloy plates. The evaluation was carried out for increased knowledge about the possibilities and limitations with the different methods. The methods are vision-, laser-line-,thermography- and inductive probe systems which are compared in an experimental setup representing a relevant industrial application. Vision is based on a CMOS camera, where the image information is used directly for the measurements. Laser-line is based on triangulation between a camera and a projected laserline. Thermography detects the heat increase in the gap width due to external heat excitation. Inductive probe uses two eddy current coils, and by a complex response method possibilities to narrow gap measurement is achieved. The results, evaluated by comparing the data from the different systems, clearly highlights possibilities and limitations with respective method and serves as a guide in the development of laser beam welding.

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