Intelligent Welding with Digital Twins


6th July 2022 author_smartweld Shalini Ghose

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 production.

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.

Weld Design

When designing a weld, considerations are mainly on the geometry type of materials to be used. However, 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 weld pool, as well as material weldability. This ensures that weld designs are made to guarantee heat equilibrium and the best materials combination.

Weld Optimization

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 intelligent welding is fast and efficient.

Weld Planning

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 significantly determined by the interpretation of the choice of materials.

Weld Production

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.

Weld Evaluation

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.


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