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YASKAWA has developed a high performance vision solution, MotoSense

MotoSense offers joint detection and seam tracking with adaptive fill for critical applications such as TIG welding.

The vision system is fully integrated with the robot control system via TCP communications and can detect and as well as track joints.

MotoSense can be seen in operation on the YASKAWA Europe YouTube Channel.

A MOTOMAN robot from YASKAWA is suspended from a gantry system serving two work stations each comprising a servo controlled twin axes positioner. The robot is equipped with TIG welding equipment with external wire fill to weld thin plate stainless steel assemblies. These are typically used in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industry where there are stringent requirements for hygiene. Welded seams need to have a smooth profile without sharp corners or crevices that could trap contaminations. The assemblies are tack welded prior to robot welding. Due to low batch volumes and high fixture costs the welding jigs are highly simplified. Due to the nature of the large assemblies the overall dimensional tolerance can build up to 20 mm. The requirements for fit up and accurate part geometry for robotic TIG welding are critical and typically needs to be within 0.3 mm tolerance.

After extensive market research YASKAWA established that existing seam tracking solutions were not able to adequately detect and track joints with such large tolerances and where there is a zero gap with no mismatch condition. With the knowledge and experience on previous applications in this field, YASKAWA developed and implemented a custom seam tracking solution, MotoSense.

The MotoSense adaptive vision system allows the robot to detect the location of the joint as well as tracking of the seam for corner, butt, overlap and fillet joints. In addition the vision system can compensate for varying gap conditions and adjust welding parameters to ensure perfect results. When using MotoSense considerable improvement in welding automation, production speed, quality and aesthetics can be achieved. Additionally post welding grinding operations are virtually eliminated.

MotoSense can easily be applied to other applications where adaptive behaviour is paramount such as laser welding, inspection, laser guidance or robot picking.