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University West Production Technology Center (PTC)

Friction Stir Welding Video Created by University West PTC

Job: Research Engineering at University West Production Technology Center (PTC)
Time Period: September 21st, 2014 to March 20th, 2015
Location: Trollhättan, Sweden

KEYWORDS:  ABB Industrial Robots, ESAB Industrial Welding Robots, RobotStudio, Non-Destructive Testing, Machine Design, Prototyping, Thermal Imagining, Automated Defect Detection for Multiple Excitation Sources, MATLAB GUI's, AutoDesk Inventor Pro

The Production Technology Center is part of University West (Högskolan Väst) in Trollhättan, Sweden that focusses on research for production technology. Main focuses at this facility are on flexible industrial automation, machining and metal forming, thermal spraying, and welding technology. More information regarding specific projects can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

NDT for Defect Detection in Welds
As an employee of University West for six months, I have been given the opportunity to work with the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) team. As a part of this team, I performed experiments for testing the robustness of defect detection using a FLIR camera on smooth aluminum plates and different excitation sources. Analyzing the data in MATLAB, I was able to develop detection methods for autonomously finding defects on smooth aluminum plates using both a flash lamp and UV light as the excitation source. Reports, MATLAB code, and sample data files can be found on the bottom of this page. I am currently working on a project to develop a method for imaging welds in tight spaces for large cameras that are too large.

GUI Developed to analyze image sequences for finding defects manually or to automate the process

ABB Industrial Robots
I have also been given the opportunity to become certified according to ABB standards for using RobotStudio and a driving license for running ABB industrial robotic arms at the PTC facility. This means I have the understanding on how to use RobotStudio for creating paths, manipulating data, performing simulations, and working with I/O systems in software for simulating operations. I also have the understanding on how to work with and run ABB industrial robots to work with RobotStudio, understanding of the underlying processes performed when running the robot, understanding of tools and work objects, and the understanding of methods, procedures, classes, and functionality.

A program I developed in RobotStudio to synchronize the movements of a linear actuator with an ABB robot to perform a glue path

Friction Stir Welding Lab Aid
Along with my training on ABB industrial robots and RobotStudio, I was able to work with a PhD student on friction stir welding for various purposes using an an ESAB robot (ABB based robotic arm). I helped the student create robot movement paths in robot studio, alignment of points on the real weld, and assuring quality of the path and weld. Research has already been done in respect to all controls for performing a proper weld. The yellow ESAB robot shown in the video on the top of this page is the same robot that was used for creating the welding paths described.

Video of Complex Path that I Aided to Create for Friction Stir Welding

Prototyping and Machine Design
I was given the task to develop some sort of mechanism that will allow for IR images to be taken of welds performed in small crevices. I created CAD drawings, 3d printed CAD parts, as well as assemble the mechanism in order to show a working proof of concept. This is my current task on this project and it is still in the beginning phase. Information regarding this project will be uploaded once it is available.

Proof of concept of a mechanism to allow IR cameras to see around corners
(Left: CAD model in AutoDesk Inventor, Right: 3D printed model)

Prototype Version 2 of mechanism to allow IR cameras to see around corners
(Left: CAD model in AutoDesk Inventor, Right: 3D printed model)

Connected-component algorithm
Discrete orthogonal pixel search algorithm
Path finding using discrete orthogonal Movements
Automated GUI to find Defects on aluminum plates from Image sequences using both flash lamps and
GUI for bringing .stl files into MATLAB as well as performing 3D homogeneous transformation on them
Working with MATLAB callbacks and GUI without using GUIDE
File reading and data storage
Error handling
Handling large data sets
Programming flow for large programs (Largest program: ~1,100 lines)
Manipulation of Thermal Images
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) principles in thermography

Examples: (files attached at the bottom of this page)
  - Example GUI for finding defects in thermal images of an aluminium plate being heated using a UV light.

Frederick Wachter,
Apr 9, 2015, 6:47 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Jan 14, 2015, 8:37 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Dec 15, 2014, 4:59 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Dec 15, 2014, 4:59 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Mar 3, 2015, 8:33 AM
Frederick Wachter,
Mar 17, 2015, 2:48 AM