Visible weld seams are currently popular in premium class cars. voestalpine Polynorm B.V. brings the technique of aluminium laser welding to a whole new quality level.
All-round quality is the standard for premium class cars. Suppliers are expected to manufacture components which are optically perfect as well as technically reliable. There is currently large demand for visible weld seams on the tail sections of premium cars. When seen from behind, for example, an accurate laser welding line creates an optical link between the tail lights, turning the tailgate itself into an eye-catching feature. This trend has posed a challenge for the technicians at voestalpine Polynorm B.V. in Bunschoten, in the Netherlands: laser welding aluminium outer panels.
The technological challenge of flawless welding optics
Essentially, laser welding aluminium parts is a standard technology. However, welding of this quality for premium vehicles is a new and unique application in the industry. Welding wasn’t originally intended as a joining process for delicate applications. Even so, voestalpine Polynorm has mastered the sophisticated procedure of creating optically perfect seams. In a complex component manufacturing process, innumerable weld seams join the six individual parts to create a finished component. At only 1 mm in thickness, the aluminium sheets need to be handled with great precision. This sensitive operation requires exact adjustments to the welding robot to reflect 30 different parameters. It only takes the welding robot 90 seconds to create a safely joined and optically perfect component.
Double quality assurance
The primary laser beam is divided in order to achieve the required level of quality: the two working beams offer a wider, oval-shaped welding point. The expertise of the voestalpine professionals, paired with an automatic 2D inspection system for 100% monitoring of the 100 cm+ long visible seam, ensures that the weld seam meets all the requirements of durability, dimensional accuracy and optical appearance. This guarantees not only flawless optics, but also technical reliability.
Leading know-how at voestalpine Polynorm
For Polynorm B.V., expertise in this sector represents a strong leading edge, and excellent standing in the European market and amongst renowned automotive manufacturers.
voestalpine Polynorm Group website: http://www.voestalpine.com/polynorm/de/