The JR team incorporated a custom-designed LPKF laser welder to weld the plastic actuator components together. A laser weld head, controlled by a servo/ball-screw module and cylinder, used a high-power diode laser system to weld several key points on the liftgate actuator. A separate servo rotated the weld fixture in place, allowing the laser welder to provide accurate laser delivery to the circumference of the part.
The weld power and wavelength of this laser allowed the machine to weld through the outer plastic tube on the actuator, leaving no visible weld lines on the tube itself.
The station utilized minimal operator interaction, requiring just three simple tooling changeovers to accommodate the different part types. The machine was also designed to run two parts, at different points in their cycles, simultaneously.