There are two major ways electric car manufacturers use laser welding to improve their product:
1. Welding parts together
The more obvious use of laser welding. this can lower the car’s weight by avoiding the need for bolts, while simultaneously making the connection stronger through welding. Modern laser welders can handle very flexible seams and connections to optimize the design of the vehicle. When using electricity and trying to maximize range, every pound (or kilogram) counts.
2. Battery production
Laser welding can also be used as a precision instrument to create high quality battery packs (the “engine” of the electric car). The electrical contacts must be produced with very high quality. This way, they can be configured to the desired operating voltage and capacity.
As electric vehicles enter the mass market, productions lines need to get as efficient as possible. In order to assure quality in the automated process, it is essential to measure the laser source of the welder regularly.
Compact, robust instrument , easily integrated into the fabrication process
Besides the core ability to measure their lasers, companies now require an integrated measurement system that can connect to their local data network. They need a compact, robust instrument that can be easily integrated into the fabrication process. Precisely for such applications, Ophir has developed Helios.
The Helios sensor operates on the “power from pulse” approach, allowing it to measure up to 12 kW without the need for water or fan cooling. This is accomplished by limiting exposure time (between 0.1 and 10 seconds). This short time allows measurement during the loading and unloading process, which helps avoid production line downtime.
Helios also comes with an automated shutter to keep the sensor clean during the production process. Via Profinet and RS232 interfaces, the measured values can be stored for evaluation as required.
As soon as the power of the laser on the machining plane drifts out of tolerance, immediate countermeasures can be taken to ensure production quality.