Towards full Automation of Robotized Laser Metal-wire Deposition

Sammanfattning: Metal wire deposition by means of robotized laser welding offers great saving potentials, i.e. reduced costs and reduced lead times, in many different applications, such as fabrication of complex components, repair or modification of high-value components, rapid prototyping and low volume production, especially if the process can be automated. Metal deposition is a layered manufacturing technique that builds metal structures by melting metal wire into beads which are deposited side by side and layer upon layer. This thesis presents a system for on-line monitoring and control of robotized laser metal wire deposition (RLMwD). The task is to ensure a stable deposition process with correct geometrical profile of the resulting geometry and sound metallurgical properties. Issues regarding sensor calibration, system identification and control design are discussed. The suggested controller maintains a constant bead height and width throughout the deposition process. It is evaluated through real experiments, however, limited to straight line deposition experiments. Solutions towards a more general controller, i.e. one that can handle different deposition paths, are suggested.A method is also proposed on how an operator can use different sensor information for process understanding, process development and for manual on-line control. The strategies are evaluated through different deposition tasks and considered materials are tool steel and Ti-6Al-4V. The developed monitoring system enables an operator to control the process at a safe distance from the hazardous laser beam.The results obtained in this work indicate promising steps towards full automation of the RLMwD process, i.e. without human intervention and for arbitrary deposition paths.