Industry 4.0 in the Welding Industry means Digitalization of Welding Process Planning and Optimizations!
The conventional way of Process Planning for welding production is by making numerous experimental (physical) welding tests and trials. This is highly costly and very time consuming also wasting a lot of materials and human hours, which significantly prolongs the development time and delays launch of new production lines, otherwise leaving many unsolved problems to production maintenance or undetected defects in weld quality.
In order to reduce the costs and speed up the developments as well as increase production stability and weld quality, a new way of working is to replace as much as possible the physical tests by digital (or virtual) tests with computer simulations and optimizations.
Yes, SORPAS® is specially developed for this purpose and proven working effectively for resistance spot welding by world leading companies in auto industry and electrical and electronics industries in Europe, Asia and North America. With new developments in Mechanical Joining, the applications are also extending to aero industry.
It is time now to shift to a new way of working with digitalization of weld process planning and optimizations!
SORPAS® serves the manufacturing companies with increasing users at production plants in various industrial sectors all over the world:
- Automotive / auto suppliers
- Electrical / electronics
- Aerospace / air plane
- Train carriage / rail
- Radiator / container
- Domestic hardware
- Medical instruments
- Nuclear equipment
- Food and drink
- Other metal processing industries.
Resistance welding and mechanical joining are the predominant joining technologies applied in automotive industry for assembly of the car body, or the Body-in-White (BIW). Nearly all sheet metal components of steels are assembled by spot welding, and most sheet metal components of aluminum are assembled by self-piercing-riveting and clinching, whereas projection welding has often been used for fastening weld nuts to sheets.
With increasing demands on the light-weight vehicle for reducing CO2 emission and increasing strengths and crashing performance for improving safety measures, more and more new materials including advanced high strength steels (AHSS), aluminum alloys, and new surface coatings are introduced into the automotive production. These new materials have largely complicated the welding processes and made all existing knowledge in welding of the conventional materials invalid. More welding tests and process optimizations are needed before setting up the welding production as well as during production maintenance.
SORPAS® has been applied at the R&D departments to support research and development for weldability evaluations of new materials and for new joining process inventions, and at the Planning department to support process planning for welding process optimizations and further for setting up the welding procedures with the newly developed weld planning functions, and with increasing users at the assembly production plants to support production launching and maintenance to improve weld quality and production stability.
Mechanical joining and resistance welding are also widely applied in aerospace industry for joining components of special metals with light weight and high strength such as titanium alloys and aluminium alloys, as well as high temperature resistant materials such as nickel chromium alloys etc.
Riveting is the most commonly used joining technique in assembly of the wings and fuselage of airplanes, while spot welding is also used in assembly of interior components.
In order to support the applications in aerospace industry, special materials have been added to the build-in material database, including aluminium alloys, titanium alloys, Inconel alloys and Incoloy alloys etc.
Besides the well developed functions for simulation and optimization of resistance welding processes, SORPAS® has now been further developed with the newly released version for simulation of riveting process featuring large deformation of the rivet.
Electrical and electronics industry
Resistance welding is commonly used in electrical and electronics industry for joining components of various (often good conductive but more difficult to weld) materials and shapes such as electrical connectors, rotors, and printing circuits etc.
The special features of the resistance welding applications in electrical and electronic industry are characterized with miniature sizes and exotic materials which are very difficult to weld.
In order to support the industrial applications in electrical and electronics industry, special materials have been added to the build-in material database including silver, copper alloys and nickel alloys etc. To facilitate simulation of miniaturized components, the allowable dimensions in SORPAS® have been extended to 0.1 microns (or 4 decimals for mm).