Intelligent Welding with Digital Twins
6th July 2022
The world is experiencing incredible technological
advancements which have led to the application of automation across various sectors of life. Digital
libraries and online marketing are fast replacing their traditional ways. Even taxis and dispatch
riders are easily accessed online these days. The production and fabrication industry is not left out
of this development, as designs are now skilfully made digitally utilizing CAD as well as Digital
Twin, which simulates manufacturing and fabrication processes.
Digital Twins is a platform that replicates physical
structures or processes in a virtual environment. Just like a twin, it possesses all the elements and
dynamics of a real life system. This implies that an operation first carried out in the digital twin
helps to save time, money, materials and also helps to detect and correct anomalies before real time
Scholars and professionals have tried to indicate how
digital twins systems developed through the use of limited component modeling. However, the majority
of presentations have concentrated mainly on system design. It is far tasking to incorporate more
complex production processes such as welding and joining, but the use of digital twins in intelligent
welding is essential in the extensive digitization of the welding industry.
Welding is a delicate aspect of joining and
manufacturing, because welded joints with porosities and impurities can lead to catastrophic failures.
Therefore, the use of Digital Twin is crucial throughout the welding lifecycle starting from the
Design, Optimization, Planning, Production and Evaluation.
When designing a weld, considerations are mainly on the
geometry type of materials to be used.
other factors such as position of weld points and heat generated inside the weld pool are difficult to
predict. Digital Twins enables the simulation of weld designs and visualizes heat production in the
pool, as well as material weldability. This ensures that weld designs are made to guarantee heat
equilibrium and the best materials combination.
For a welded joint to be optimized, process parameters
such as current, force and time must be in
certain proportions for different materials and types of weld. Most companies often rely on
trial-and-error tests to achieve optimization which can lead failures and high cost of production.
However, Digital Twins
enhances weld optimization through simulation and ensures
is fast and efficient.
Digital Twins simplify weld planning. It automatically
interprets data from spreadsheets and runs
simulations to ascertain the best way to make a weld, thus saving time and enhancing profit. Weld
planning is an integral part of intelligent welding
because the outcome of a weld is
determined by the interpretation of the choice of materials.
Despite the virtual weld representation in Digital Twin,
welded joints can still experience defects during production due to materials degradation and weld
splashing. Digital Twins often predict weld splashing, but some weld defects can be ignored if they
fail within the tolerance level.
It is difficult to evaluate the quality of weld at the
design stage. However, Digital Twin can be able to affirm the formation of nuggets, microstructure and
hardness before the welding operation is performed.
Intelligent welding operations work together with
Digital Twins to ensure a low cost of
production and structural failure.