Technical Objectives

The ORBITAL system consists in a new laser welding head adapted to the specific requirements of the orbital welding process and tailored for tube-to-sheet joints used in the production of heat exchangers. The system will be developed in order to enhance the characteristics of the laser welding process: high-speed welding, real-time control, easy automation, data exchange, accuracy.

In order to obtain a specially adapted new system for tube to sheet welding, it will be necessary to develop the three following technical aspects:

  • an optical path in order to focus the laser on the workpiece;
  • an electro-mechanical system in order to move and control the speed and path of laser beam around the tube circumference with a high positioning accuracy, and
  • a control system that will be able to control the different parameters of the welding head and all the laser installation in order to perform the welding process.

Regarding other system, providing a good shielding gas atmosphere and repeatable positioning of the laser respect to the tubes to be welded.

Due to the important size of heat exchangers, production takes place in large warehouses where vibrations generated by production processes or pieces manipulation are very common. This ORBITAL system will avoid vibration problems that could affect the laser welding process.


 Orbital Prototipe at Fraunhofer IWS Booth in LASER 2013 (Munich)

2013-05-13_lasermesse_exponate_07   2013-05-13_lasermesse_exponate_09




The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 262455