In-process inspection of multi-pass robotic welding

Javadi, Yashar and MacLeod, Charles and Lines, David and Vasilev, Momchil and Mohseni, Ehsan and Foster, Euan and Qiu, Zhen and Vithanage, Randika and Zimermann, Rastislav and Loukas, Charalampos and Pierce, Gareth and Gachagan, Anthony (2019) In-process inspection of multi-pass robotic welding. In: 46th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, 2019-07-14 - 2019-07-18, Portland.

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Traditionally fusion welding of manufactured components ‎and quality control inspection of such welds are distinctly ‎separate processes in the supply chain, which ultimately limit ‎productivity, throughput and increase re-work. The concept of ‎combining both of these practices directly at the point of ‎manufacture offers the potential to produce superior, globally-‎efficient fabrications. This paper presents the results of a study ‎investigating such a strategy, where a multi-pass weld is ‎autonomously deposited and, in parallel, an autonomous ‎inspection is deployed for real-time Non-Destructive ‎Evaluation (NDE). A real-time sector scan is implemented after ‎each of 21 weld passes and in three inspection positions, i.e., ‎the first position is 50 mm from the weld start, the second ‎‎being in the center of the weld length and the last is 50 ‎mm ‎distance to the weld endpoint. ‎Only in the second position, an ‏intentionally embedded defect, a tungsten rod, is introduced ‎into the multi-pass weld to allow subsequent in-process ‎calibration and verification. Based on the phased array ‎inspection results, the tungsten ‎rod is successfully detected in ‎the real-time NDE of the deposited ‎position. Furthermore, the ‎reflection ‎due to the partially ‎filled groove is captured during ‎the ‎inspection of the filling ‎passes. ‎