A revolution in weld quality management

Servo-Robot wireless handheld weld measuring and inspection tool.

Robotic arc welding has reached a very high level of productivity and quality in various industries including two of the most demanding which are the car industry and fabrication of heavy mining equipment. This high performance has been reached in part through the use of 3D laser weld seam tracking and geometry measurement in fully automated welding cells. For example, this guidance and inspection method is now routinely used with success in laser welding lines for tailored welded blanks in the car industry.

Servo Robot revolutionised arc welding inspection when it introduced a high accuracy 3D weld profile measurement method. The unique handheld non contact laser inspection system, Wiki-SCAN, brought objectivity, reliability and precise measurements to weld inspection. This achievement has been made possible by combining in the same tool several developments including hardware miniaturisation, increased battery life, tablet touchscreen and wireless communication.

Laser beam accuracy, combined with advanced micro-processing, is used to compute dimensions of weld beads as well as detect the presence of weld defects. Utilisation of the simple international icon interface, which is very similar to current generation smart phones, makes this system very easy-to-use. In addition, it is small in size which allows it to reach into tight areas. The repeatable results reduce subjectivity and inherent human error that can lead to multiple unnecessary weld repairs. A simple click of the trigger can provide many useful measurements such as leg sizes, convexity/concavity, toe angles, as well as the detection of defects such as undercut and porosity.

Results can be automatically compared to the tolerances set based on the applicable weld quality standard requirements. The Wiki-SCAN also allows for inspection of joint preparations and fit-up in the field with accurate measurements of critical parameters such as face and root openings, mismatch and bevel angle. Furthermore, a permanent record of the weld measurements, pictures, voice and written comments are stored in the Wiki-SCAN and can be sent to a computer for statistical analysis and sharing.

This innovative technology fills a wide gap between the basic visual weld inspection done today and other inspection techniques, such as Magnetic Particle Testing (MT), Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT), Ultrasonic Testing (UT) and Radiographic Testing (RT). The permanent records available with this welding inspection method match up well with those available with digital UT and RT.

Using this technology, one is effectively getting a “virtual cross section” of the weld and accomplishing much of what the traditional slow and expensive destructive cross sectioning (cut and etch) does. It can measure and inspect certain types of joints/welds that have not been possible to do effectively, including skewed fillets, flange/socket welds, bulb Tees, etc. It also can be used while a weld is still hot so intermediate inspection can be done to find root pass defects or better predict if the weld will be the right size when it is finished.

This weld information system is transforming the approach to the manufacturing of weldments, evaluation of productivity and the avoidance of defects. The Wiki-SCAN methodology (Weld SureTM) can be fully automated with robots or manually performed by an inspector or operator with the handheld system.

The introduction of WiKi-SCAN/HR
Servo-Robot is now proud to announce the newest addition to their product line: the WiKi-SCAN/HR, an extremely high precision handheld inspection system. The WiKi-SCAN/HR can measure even the tiniest joints, weld beads, and other precise features typical in TIG, plasma, and laser welding quality control applications.

The WiKi-SCAN/HR complements the existing Servo-Robot WiKi-SCAN product line by providing the highest precision measuring capability of Servo-Robot portable handheld laser vision systems on the market.

To inspect the part, the inspector simply holds the system up to the unwelded or welded joint and presses the trigger to take measurements and determine if there are any defects present. The Wiki-SCAN allows one to inspect joint preparations, joint fit-up, and weld bead geometry. It accurately measures critical parameters such as face and root openings, mismatch and bevel angles for unwelded joints and features like leg size, concavity, undercut, etc for welds. Results can be automatically compared to the tolerances set and provide GO/NO-GO feedback. Furthermore, a permanent record of the weld measurements, voice and written comments and pictures of the weld are stored in the Wiki-SCAN and can be sent to your computer.

Advantages of the Wiki-SCAN include less redundant inspection, fewer unneeded repairs, reduced inspection time and cost savings due to reduced weld time and over welding.

For further details contact Yaskawa Southern Africa TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.yaskawa.za.com or www.servorobot.com