Laser Beam Welding (LBW)
Hybrid laser welding offers manufacturers the opportunity to achieve orders-of-magnitude improvements in productivity and quality compared to conventional welding processes. HLAW can weld thin materials at welding speeds 3-5 times higher than MIG/MAG - GMAW and up to ten times higher than TIG - GTAW with heat input reduced by up to 80-90%. That means thin plate and sheet metal products can not only be produced very quickly but also with greatly reduced distortion reducing or eliminating down-stream production costs.
Hybrio™- The adaptive process control system
ESAB's patented adaptive, closed-loop control system monitors the weld joint in real time, modifying the process to accommodate joint gaps and mismatch. It is also capable of measuring the depth of laser penetration and actively control this to within desired tolerances. This advanced next-generation intelligent control broadens the welding performance envelope by a factor of five compared to hybrid laser welding with conventional controls. By sensing its environment, the joint location and fit up, it can adapt the process in real time to maintain high weld quality over a wide range of fit-up conditions. This breakthrough in welding control enables the use of hybrid welding on large structures and complex assemblies without excessive reliance on very expensive pre-processing, machining and fixturing.
All solid-state lasers
ESAB uses modern solid-state laser resonators exclusively in its hybrid welding. These new lasers feature high energy efficiency, consume no laser gases and offer very long operating life spans. The wavelength of light produced by these lasers, unlike older CO2 lasers, requires no beam directing mirrors, telescopes and other optics to deliver the beam to the working head. They use flexible fibre optic cables that can deliver a high energy beam up to 200 meters without significant loss in energy or beam quality.
This allows ESAB to develop a range of flexible equipment that can fit well into conventional production environments without having to manage sensitive optics, with their associated mechanisation and maintenance costs. Additionally, these lasers can direct their energy through up to six individual fibres, enabling a single laser to power a number of independent work cells.
The Hybrio™ touch screen
PC-based HMI ESAB's hybrid welding systems all incorporate a state-of-the-art 'Human Machine Interface'. This PC-based control system is very easy to operate and simplifies the task of developing and managing hybrid laser welds in production environments. This system runs in three different modes: Operator, Engineer and Developer, depending on the nature of the person who logs into the system. Each is presented with a different level of detail and control of the hybrid process.
The HMI provides a familiar windows-based interface for accessing and setting up the real-time adaptive control system. It also provides 'expert system' wizards, which assist engineers with the development of new hybrid welding applications. Finally, the HMI includes a Quality Assurance module which can collect and report actual parameters, essential variables and weld quality results for use in our customer's SPC analysis and quality reporting requirements. This module is able to automatically generate weld reports and records to AWS, ISO and customer's own specifications.
Wide range of standard systems
ESAB now offers a range of standard, modular production systems incorporating the Hybrio™ hybrid welding process from beam welders to seam welders to tube and pipe welders. These turn-key systems are configured to provide customers with a ready-made solution to incorporate into their existing production operations. ESAB also offers the Hybrio™ Process Package for Integrators. This provides system integrators and machine tool OEMs with a complete operational hybrid welding solution, which they can incorporate into their own custom or specialised product offerings. Additionally, ESAB offers a complete Hybrio™ hybrid laser welding process package to our top Platinum-level of robotic system integrators for use in flexible automation systems wherever our customers seek ultra-high productivity and quality from a welding solution.