RLW Navigator: outstanding research with industrial relevance

The Remote Laser Welding (RLW) Navigator was a 3 1/2  year collaborative programme led by WMG with twelve industrial and academic partners including STADCO, Jaguar Land Rover and EnginSoft (a UK SME). The programme developed software solutions to enable the implementation of RLW technology, effectively taking it from new concept to production, in-line with the primary purpose of HVM Catapult.

The main barrier for adoption of RLW has been the lack of methodologies for precise and effective planning and simulation of its application, leading to time-consuming (and expensive) trial-and-error procedures.

The new solution developed a range of new capabilities including:

  1. Jig and fixture design and optimisation
  2. Selection and optimisation of welding joining process parameters
  3. Off-Line Programming (OLP) of remote welding robots
  4. In-process joint quality monitoring

The results of the RLW Navigator programme led to the first ever fully digitally developed RLW process. The RLW Navigator project has enabled the adoption of RLW (over the incumbent Resistance Spot Welding) leading to greatly improved productivity (up to five times faster and with 60% less floor space), reduced costs, enhanced flexibility and reduced weight through RLW optimised design.

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