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RAMLAB welding application

RAMLAB

Revolutionizing automated welding, repair and additive manufacturing with MaxQ system 

Quick facts

Company
RAMLAB

Application
MaxQ Robot
Robot Guidance
Robotic Welding
Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing
Repair 

Features
On-arm 3D color vision for robotics
AI
Motion planning

3D camera
Zivid Two
Point cloud examples

At a glance 

Challenge

The welding industry is seeing some of the most innovative growth in the field of robotics. There is an industry need for metallic parts to be manufactured or repaired as needed to high-quality specifications. Additionally, the cost should be highly competitive and should be within the reach of just about any company. For RAMLAB, the vision challenge was to find a 3D sensor strong enough for highly accurate arc welding processes that could also operate smoothly in a hot, dirty, and tough environment. The application also required a robot vision camera light and robust enough to be mounted on the arm of the robot.

Solution

The MaxQ Robot system is a demanding industrial use case. The industrial-grade Zivid Two 3D camera was chosen based on its outstanding machine-vision performance together with its true industrial-grade build quality and floating calibration performance.

Result

The MaxQ system from RAMLAB is a cutting-edge application that will deliver unprecedented and new manufacturing and repair possibilities to a swathe of companies that did not have those opportunities previously. A combination of robotic control expertise and Zivid’s best-in-class industrial 3D vision system means complex additive and robotic welding can be sourced ‘on-demand’ at a reasonable cost.

The Zivid Two surpassed our expectations on every level and we have been delighted with its consistently amazing performance.” - Vincent Wegener, Co-Founder and Managing Director, RAMLAB

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01 Story

RAMLAB is based in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Rotterdam is a world-renowned international port that like many industrial centers has undergone many changes in recent years. There is an initiative there to offer novel industrial services such as additive manufacturing (AM), or 3-D printing as a bespoke service to industries. This service will offer the ability for companies large or small to build industrial components that may have been impossible to build economically and build them quickly and as required.  

 

02 Challenges

The welding industry is seeing some of the most innovative growth in the field of robotics. There is an industry need for metallic parts to be manufactured or repaired as needed to high-quality specifications. Additionally, the cost should be highly competitive and should be within the reach of just about any company. In short, on-demand manufacturing and repair of metallic parts for industry. 

Specifically for the repair (or overlay welding as it is also called) of metallic parts, there is the challenge of a global shortage of experienced welders and the demands for better productivity are also in play. Robotic welding techniques offer huge possibilities for consistent quality and increased ‘on-arc’ time that is not possible using human welders. 

The relatively new field of additive manufacturing using Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) is a very exciting development for both manufacturing and repair of metallic parts. There is a need to reduce waste and energy consumption in manufacturing coupled with a desire to manufacture and repair parts that it has just not been possible to do with traditional techniques. RAMLAB, is focused on the development of this WAAM technology and specifically the MaxQ system to automate the monitoring and control of the welding process 

For RAMLAB, the challenge was to find a 3D sensor strong enough for highly accurate arc welding processes that could also operate smoothly in a hot, dirty, and tough environment. Welding is such a complex process, it also requires that the vision system can work from multiple angles. Therefore, the system would need a camera light and robust enough to be mounted on the arm of the robot for a wider field of view.

DSCF0108

“For RAMLAB’s MaxQ system we needed a 3D vision system that could not only deliver the very highest quality point clouds consistently but also operate reliably under very demanding conditions associated with the welding process.”  

Vincent Wegener, Co-Founder and Managing Director, RAMLAB

03 Solution

The MaxQ system is a monitor and control system developed by RAMLAB for industrial robots consisting of a sensor system and software suite that can be easily integrated with welding robots. The sensing of the weld progression and quality is done using the Zivid Two machine vision camera. This system automates the production, quality inspection, and certification process. The system is a demanding industrial use-case operation in a hot, dirty environment. The industrial-grade Zivid Two 3D camera was chosen based on its outstanding machine-vision performance together with its true industrial-grade build quality and floating calibration performance. 

This industrial-grade system brings the ability to create objects for industry using highly accurate arc welding processes and robotics and best-in-class machine vision technology.  

MaxQ Ramlab welding system

WAAM outperforms conventional manufacturing approaches such as forging and casting in the following ways: 

  • Quality assurance: repeatable 
  • Create large objects: print objects of size only limited by the reach of the robot. 
  • More design freedom: WAAM allows the manufacture of very complex-shaped objects. 
  • Low start-up cost and TCO: WAAM is lower CAPEX cost than traditional forging and casting and other AM techniques. 
  • Hybrid manufacturing: WAAM is suited for use with complementary production methods. 
  • Waste reduction: Material is only deposited where needed leading to waste reductions of up to 50%. 

Zivid Two has also been designed to be light and robust enough for robot-mounted applications, which was a requirement for RAMLAB's robotic welding job. By mounting the camera on the arm of the robot, the MaxQ system was able to capture the items from multiple angles to get a more accurate point cloud.  

04 Result

The MaxQ system from RAMLAB is a cutting-edge application that will deliver unprecedented and new manufacturing and repair possibilities to a swathe of companies that did not have those opportunities previously. A combination of robotic control expertise and Zivid’s best-in-class industrial 3D vision system means complex additive and welding can be sourced ‘on-demand’ at a reasonable cost.

With RAMLAB MaxQ this system can print very complex parts accurately, first time right, every time, and negates the need for costly non-destructive testing as was previously needed for such manufacturing. MaxQ looks to disrupt the world of heavy manufacturing in much the same way traditional 3D printing has in other industries. 

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Ramlab MaxQ system

 

About RAMLAB

RAMLAB is based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. RAMLAB’s mission is to enable the industry to manufacture and repair industrial parts whenever, and wherever they’re needed. They should also meet or exceed the end user’s quality requirements at a competitive price. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing will enable the manufacturing and repair of certified metal parts. RAMLAB’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of this technology throughout the value chain.

→ www.ramlab.com 

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