Product Code: ICA11_303

Resistance Spot Welding Gun Meets Fiber Laser – An Alternative to Remote Welding?
Klaus Krastel, IPG Laser GmbH; Burbach Germany
Presented at ICALEO 2011

For today's high volume production in the automotive industry, resistance spot welding and laser remote welding, while well established, present pro's and con's. For laser remote welding the main advantage is the significant cycle time reduction due to almost complete elimination of idle times and the advantages of laser welded seams. For resistance spot welding an advantage is the integrated clamping technology, which comes nearly for free. IPG Laser GmbH has combined these advantages in a new technology, offering the resistance spot welding process, featuring the simplicity of clamping tools and production facilities, used in combination with the advantages of laser welding. A problem for some types of solid state laser welding is operator safety which requires a protective housing and lasers with power up to 6 kW, used for welding sheet metal in the automotive industry, require safety equipment with fast reaction safety devices. This complicates their use in an open production facility, for example in automotive body and assembly plants. Laser welding for the production of sheet metal components in body plants offers the following advantages: + Higher process speed (shorter cycle times) + Increased component strength by longer seams with higher torsional stiffness + Efforts and costs comparable to today’s modern resistance welding systems + Realization of high job safety requirements (laser class 1) with reduced costs. Fiber laser welding with a suitable welding tool provides the opportunity to accomplish all these objectives.

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