Real-time quality control of welding processes

The Belgian Welding Institute investigates the feasibility of quality control using systems forĀ inline, real time defect detection during welding.

Context

In mechanised applications, welding is performed using pre-set welding parameters in order to obtain a repeatable weld quality. Manufacturing tolerances of upstream operations, such as profile cutting and edge preparation, variation in the chemistry and accuracy of assembly, can significantly affect the quality of the welding operation, which can be challenging and expensive to control.

Advantages

  • real-time process visualisation, monitoring and quality assurance,
  • the process parameters can be adjusted in real-time,
  • fast error detection reduces destructive testing and scrap,
  • data, images or videos can be stored for quality documentation.

Project goals

  • Demonstration of the feasibility of quality control using systems for inline, real time defect detection during welding.
  • Development of new algorithms to correlate the measurements with the weld quality, which will be configured to operate with different welding processes.

Challenges

The main research challenges are:

  • developing a very fast integrated measurement system for real-time quality control of arc welding, with the flexibility to perform local (weld pool) and global (full weld/product) monitoring,
  • to overcome technological barriers for a very high speed system, integrated in real-time for control of welding, with the flexibility to perform local (weld pool level) and global (weld area level) monitoring,
  • to derive relevant high-speed features that capture the dynamics of the weld pool,
  • to develop predictive models to correlate the measurements to physical defects,
  • to elaborate quality control strategies that will guarantee the quality of the product.

Research projects