BMW tests optical coherence tomography for better welding


Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have backed a project to explore the potential of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to improve remote laser welding in car production. Funded under the country’s ‘Photonics Research Germany’ program, the effort include representatives from auto giant BMW, who will work alongside laser welding and OCT experts at Precitec, Blackbird Robotersysteme, Emil Bucher, and the Technical University of Munich. The project utilizes a Blackbird scanner comprising an ‘intelliWELD’ PR scan head provided by Scanlab, a control unit, and an integrated OCT scanner. The team adds that imaging relies on ultra-fast workpiece scanning with a dedicated OCT scanner coaxially coupled in the weld scanner. This welding solution provides integrated edge tracking and seam topology measurement.