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Laser welding on 3-dimensional contour for autobody manufacturing
Published May 23, 1999 by SAE Australasia in Australia
Laser welding has been the focus of much attention as the next generation of processing technology in the manufacturing process of vehicle bodies due to its high speed, low distortion, one side processing, continuous welding, and other inherent characteristics. Laser welding is already being used on several different types of vehicles in Europe and North America in an attempt to improve the passive safety and the rigidity of vehicles attained by continuous welding, among other reasons.
Meanwhile, in Japan, there is currently a growing demand for more model selection and lower volume production due to the diversification of values in the marketplace. The generalization of production equipment in order to meet these demands is becoming an issue of increasing importance. As a means of generalizing the process to allow for the production of many different vehicle models, we have focused our attention on one side processing, one characteristics of laser welding.
This time, we have employed a laser for the welding of the side member outer and trough and housing to accommodate multiple vehicle models.
For this, we developed a special radiation-emitting optical system in order to accommodate the complicated three-dimensional shapes of the work pieces.