Welding Technologies Innovations
WeldPrint: online quality monitoring of welds
Detection of welding defects can be achieved quickly and automatically using WeldPrint, a quality control device designed for industrial welding applications. When faults are found, WeldPrint can stop the manufacturing process or alert the operator. In this way, consistently high quality is maintained during automatic welding processes.
This approach is unique. No other on-line fault-detection system is available anywhere in the world. Alternative systems simply log a range of welding data which needs to be studied later. In safety-critical welding applications, a percentage of welds is usually tested using ultrasound or radiography. Because it checks every weld, WeldPrint increases the safety margin provided by normal assessment.
The detection system can signal a problem within a tenth of a second of it occurring. Key electrical characteristics of the welding arc, analogous to signatures or fingerprints, are recorded and compared to stored data. When the input does not match the signature, the operator is warned or welding stops.
These faults may arise from contamination, porosity, poor electrical connections, loss of shield gas, wrong feed rate, poor joint fit-up or preparation, or just incorrect settings. Weld quality and other parameters are plotted continuously during operation and can be logged for later examination. This form of monitoring is becoming more important as manufacturers increase the use of robotics and reduce the number of operators employed on production lines.
While WeldPrint is the brainchild of the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at University of Sydney, its commercial development will be managed by the Australian company Welding Technologies Innovations Pty Ltd. Their expertise in the international welding market will ensure world-wide success for this innovative device. Potential WeldPrint distributors have been contacted in many overseas markets.