Implementing OCT for industrial weld monitoring

Dr Nataliya Deyneka-Dupriez describes the benefits that OCT can bring to weld monitoring, and highlights how the technology is starting to find applications in e-mobility.

"OCT technology can be successfully used for fast and exact localisation of hairpins, and fast quantitative quality assessment of the weld bead during processing."

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Tomorrow’s Advanced Technology for Laser Welding – Today

OCT is a perfect technique for seam tracking applications


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) becomes a widely accepted technique for precise and consistent seam-guided laser  welding.  Being  advantageous due  to  its  operation  principle,  OCT has  gained  a  role  of  innovative  seam tracking  technology  for  highly  productive, cost-effective laser processing. The industrial tests deliver satisfactory results. Either remote laser welding of body-in-white or gap bridging, OCT is an unbeatable technique for the laser welding  applications  with  extended tracking limits.

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Advances of OCT Technology for Laser Beam Processing

Precision and quality during laser welding


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an innovative sensor 3D measuring system for automated laser processing, in particular laser welding. It facilitates laser beam positioning, process monitoring, and quality control with the required precision and guarantees process flexibility, stability, and traceability. To ensure smooth seam tracking  for time- and cost-effective line production, Lessmüller  Lasertechnik OCT systems offer the automated recognition and digitalization of joints for precise lateral and axial positioning. It provides industrial solutions for the online inspection of the keyhole to enable consistent and high quality welds.

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On September 19-22nd 2016  Lessmüller Lasertechnik presented its achievements in OCT-technology at LANE 2016 conference in Fürth, Germany. LANE 2016 is the 9th International Conference on Photonic Technologies for an international exchange of ideas, opinions, perspectives, results and solutions concerning photonic technologies in order to enhance the additive manufacturing, the precision processing with ultrashort laser pulses and the fast laser beam manipulation. Dr. Nataliya Deyneka Dupriez shared the successful test results of the OCT-applications for remote laser welding (published online: Industrial contributions LANE 2016) with a broad audience.

Optical Coherence Tomography for Remote Laser Welding


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an innovative technology in modern industrial laser processing in particular in laser welding.  Performing  coaxially  to  the  processing  laser  and  supplied  with  the  OCT  scanner,  OCT  enables  not  only  the tomographical  keyhole  depth  measurements  but  also  precise  omnidirectional  seam  tracking.  By  acquiring  a  3D  surface topography, the profile of the joint can be recorded with high axial and lateral resolution. Thus the exact welding position can be detected in real-time regardless of the viewing angle, a change of the focusing distance or the welding direction. Frequency analysis of the measurement data makes OCT immune to the intensive process light. Performing with high acquisition rate and accompanied by high processing rate analysis software, OCT can provide “on the fly” tracking and is a promising technique for fast accurate and cost-effective remote laser welding.  Simple maintenance-free solution, robust and small-sized, OCT is easy adaptable to any conventional laser head, it does not require sophisticated alignment and any additional cross jet.

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