22 February 2017 I-PFO: the new technology for simple and flexible implementation of high productive on-the-fly remote processes
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Abstract
Standardized production systems which can be implemented, programmed, maintained and sourced in a simple and efficient way are key for a successful global production of automobiles or related parts at component suppliers. This is also valid for systems, which are built by laser based processes. One of the key applications is remote laser welding (RLW) of “Body in White” (BIW) parts (such as hang-on parts, B-Pillars, side frames, etc.), but also builtin components (such as car seats, batteries, etc.). The majority of RLW applications are based on the implementation of a 3-D scanner optic (e.g. the PFO 3D from TRUMPF) which positions the laser beam on the various component surfaces to be welded. Over the past 10 years it has been proven that the most efficient way to build up the RLW process is to have a system where an industrial robot and a scanner optic are combined in one production cell. They usually cooperate within an “On-The-Fly” (OTF) process as this ensures minimum cycle times. Until now there are several technologies on the market which can coordinate both the robot and scanner in the OTF mode. But none of them meet all requirements of global standardized production solutions. With the introduction of the I-PFO (Intelligent Programmable Focusing Optics) technology the situation has changed. It is now possible to program or adopt complex remote processes in a fast and easy way by the “Teach-in” function via the robot teach pendant. Additionally a 3D offline designer software is an option for this system. It automatically creates the ideal remote process based on the part, fixture, production cell and required process parameters. The I-PFO technology doesn’t need additional hardware due to the fact that it runs on the controller within the PFO 3D. Furthermore it works together with different types of industrial robots (e.g. ABB, Fanuc and KUKA) which allow highest flexibility for the production planning phase. Finally a single TRUMPF laser source can supply up to six I-PFOs. This guarantees maximum beam-on time at the production line. Within this report the concept of the I-PFO technology (with mentioned functions) is described and is compared to the other existing ways for Remote Laser processing.
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Andreas Müllegger, Andreas Müllegger, Tracey Ryba, Tracey Ryba, } "I-PFO: the new technology for simple and flexible implementation of high productive on-the-fly remote processes", Proc. SPIE 10097, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Applications, Diagnostics, and Systems VI, 100970M (22 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2252260; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252260
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