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Laser Welding and Assembly Lines for Powertrain Components

Coldwater Machine Company, a Lincoln Electric Company and an engineering solutions company that manufactures and integrates assembly automation and special machines, offers automated laser welding lines for powertrain components such as differential cases and ring gears. These welding and assembly systems are based upon standard Coldwater Machine-developed laser welding modules, with the ability to customize in order to suit individual customer requirements.

A typical solution includes palletized transfer of components that are RFID tracked throughout the assembly and welding process. The first stop is an ablation station, where the ring gears and differential cases are cleaned with a fiber laser for the laser welding process.

Transfer from the palletized conveyor system to the individual operations is taken care of by a material handling robot that transfers the part through a servo-controlled press station and then to the laser welding station. The parts are oriented, clamped under force, and tack welded by the laser. The weld is accomplished using a 6 kW CO2 laser with filler wire in the presence of shielding gas.

After the laser welding process is completed, the assembly is moved by the robot to an inspection station for a quality check of weld integrity using an ultrasonic test system to identify failures such as porosity, holes, cracks or fissures along the 360° welded area. After inspection, the material handling robot loads the welded assembly back onto the conveyor pallet where good parts are transferred back to the unload station and any rejects to a quarantine zone for later evaluation.

The welding lines are inclusive of associated laser equipment including an air-cooled chiller to remove heat from the laser operations, and a fume extractor that is linked to both the ablation and welding stations.

For more information contact:

Coldwater Machine Company

911 North Second St.

Coldwater, OH 45828-8736


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