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Approach

To ensure the successful fulfilment of our research objectives, the proposed project will deal with all necessary facets of the RLW Navigator. After a comprehensive study with the partners three major technical thrusts have been identified below.

 

Production System Level Thrust is proposed to develop necessary procedures and methods which allow the selection, in a given automotive assembly system, of a candidate station for RLW. The input for the production system design thrust will comprise of a production system layout, assembly sequence as well as information about all joining processes. Among the different stations of the original layout, candidates for the installation of RLW will be identified and then evaluated in terms of their feasibility to perform the required assembly tasks. The identified workstations will be carefully designed, tested, and evaluated for RLW in the work packages of workstation level.

For more information on system level reseacrh see work package 1

Workstation Level Thrust will focus on a single assembly workstation. The work in this thrust will be initiated by a configuration of a selected candidate RLW workstation and then centre on:

  • Process design which includes error budgeting step, where the different sources of error will be quantified as a first assessment check. The budgeting will also permit identifying the main path(s) for controlling part-to-part gap. Next, detailed station-related design tasks, process parameter selection and fixture design, will be performed to maximize the weld quality and system robustness.
  • Process control which includes implementation of an array of multi-sensors which will be deployed for purposes of monitoring, root cause analysis and process adjustment to eliminate 6-sigma related faults.

For more information on research activity for:

Evaluation of System Performance and Eco-efficiency Thrust: This will concentrate on developing a necessary procedure and evaluation system for (1) system level evaluation; (2) workstation level evaluation; and (3) overall evaluation of the RLW Navigator performance and eco-efficiency, including vehicle design guidelines.

For more information regarding system and eco-efficiency evaluation please see work package 5

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RLW Navigator is a three year, €3.9M, project funded by the European Commission under the ICT-Factories of the Future programme.  The project has fourteen partners and began in January 2012.

The goal of the project is to develop an engineering platform for an emerging joining technology from the automotive industry, Remote Laser Welding (RLW), that will enable the exploitation of this technology and ultimately support other joining processes.

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