Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

High-power fibre laser in shipbuilding

New applications are established in Europe shipyards

Original published in German in “Laser
Technik Journal” in March 2008 by AUT HORS
WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA

The advantages of solid-state lasers

for shipbuilding and for similar
industries, which are characterized by
the production of large structures,
have already been studied since many
years. Substantial basics for the
usage of such beam sources on ULF JASNAU
shipyards were developed in Rostock. RAINER GAEDE
Dipl.-Ing. (IWE) Ulf Jasnau, born in 1968, Dipl.-Ing. Rainer Gaede, born in 1956,
Hence, the first world-wide usage of study of mechanical engineering with the
solid-state lasers in the manufacturing Study at the University Rostock in the
major in material and welding field shipbuilding technology with a major
of shipyard was initiated: Since engineering at the University of Rostock.
November 2006, a high–power fibre in welding technology. Beginning his
laser with an output of 6 kW was career as a development technologist in
In the year 2000 beginning of the the department of welding engineering of
implemented in the Aker shipyard in occupation in the area of research and
Turku, Finland, for the welding of the rationalization centre for shipbuilding.
development at the Welding Training and Since 1990 employed in different
sheet metals during panel production Research Institute Mecklenburg-Western
with the Laser-GMA-hybrid welding. functions for the Ingenieurtechnik und
Pomerania GmbH as a project engineer. Maschinenbau GmbH Rostock. Since
In the year 2004 he becomes the head of 1999 Manager sales and distribution of
Thus, globally, a high-power solid-state the research and development
laser is completely integrated into the the IMG.
daily ship-building and manufacturing of ●●
shipyards for the first time and this huge ●●
Ulf Jasnau Rainer Gaede
milestone in shipbuilding is achieved with Head of Research and Development
the integration of sources of solid-state Manager Sales and distribution
Schweisstechnische Lehr- und Ingenieurtechnik & Maschinenbau GmbH
laser. IMG Rostock as the main Versuchsanstalt Mecklenburg-
contractor for the implementation of this Industriestraße 8
Vorpommern GmbH 18069 Rostock
application and the SLV M-V, the sub-
Alter Hafen Süd 4 Tel.: +49 (0) 381 79 30
contractor and in-charge f or process 18069 Rostock
development and queries of laser work Fax: +49 (0) 381 71 21 89
Tel.: +49 (0)381/811-5026 E-Mail: inf o@img-tech.de
safety have gained great experience Fax: +49(0)381/811-5099
from different projects for the application Website: www.img-tech.de
E-Mail: jasnau@slv-rostock.de
of solid-state lasers in shipbuilding. Website: www.slv-rostock.de
Solid-state laser in shipbuilding – The

With the Nd:YAG Laser sources with

outputs over 4 kW at acceptable beam
qualities being available since long,
already a fundamental condition for the
use of solid-state lasers in shipbuilding
was f ulf illed at the end of the nineties of
the prev ious century. In addition to this
the transferability of laser radiation via
flexible optical fibres and the associated
easy "handling" of the tool laser beam as
compared with the high-power CO2-
Lasers was a reason for the intensified
interest in the use of solid-state lasers in
shipbuilding. With the Laser-GMA-hybrid
welding there exists additionally a laser- Figure 1: The prototype of the welding
station at the Aker Yard in Rostock-
based joining process, which can make
the advantages of the laser technology Warnemünde, world-wide equipped
usable for shipbuilding under the specific first-time with the solid-state laser
basic conditions of the manufacturing in technology.
relation to ship-building. Right: Detail of Laser-GMA-hybrid
Left: Total view of the carriage with welding head with optic module for 2
processing heads for the under- optical fibre plugs
powder-welding and the Laser-GMA
hybrid welding.
At a conventional One Side Welding
On the basis of the mentioned aspects Station, which was available at the IMG
the Welding Training and Research in Rostock for delivery to a customer in
Institute Mecklenburg-Western summer 2005, the outfit of such
Pomerania GmbH initiated several equipment was demonstrated with the 10
projects since 1999 for the fitting and kW fibre laser during a workshop (Figure
retro-f itting of welding-technology related 3). Thereby sheet metals with
equipment racks with hybrid welding thicknesses from 6 to 10 mm with a
tools on the basis of solid-state lasers in length up to 12 meters were welded with
shipbuilding. the Laser-GMA-hybrid welding
technology. The small heat inputs
In the course of these projects, a One implemented thereby made the potential
Side Welding Station with 2 diode- of the laser technology in connection with
pumped Nd:Y AG lasers each with 4 kW conventional equipment technology very
output of the manufacturer Rofin Sinar clear.
were re-modified (Refer Figure 1) for the
Figure 2: World-wide first 10 kW fibre
first time in the years 2003 and 2004 on As a result of these demonstrations and
lasers during installation at the SLV
the Aker shipyard in Rostock- MV. the past experiences of the SLV M-V in
Warnemünde together with the IMG case of other applications, the f irst
Rostock. Extensive investigations in relation to the shipyards decided for comprehensive
welding process and for the inv estigations or investments in systems
organizational and safety-relevant with high-power solid state laser sources.
integration of solid-state lasers into the The Finnish Aker shipyard in Turku was
process flows at shipyards were the pioneer investing in a high-power
Welding Training and Research
Institute Mecklenburg-Vorpommern accomplished with this system. fibre laser.
GmbH (SLV M-V), Rostock
High-power fibre laser – The break Here the retro-f itting of a One Side
The SLV M-V individually implements the through for solid-state laser in Welding Station, operated with Sub-
introduction and the further development merged arc welding equipment, with an
of welding methods or welding additional carriage for the Laser-GMA-
technologies as well as other thermal With the world-wide first 10 kW fibre hy brid welding took place in the year
procedures from the v iewpoint of the laser (Figure 2), which was used firstly in 2006 by the IMG and the SLV M-V
customers. Beside the conventional August 2004 at the SLV Mecklenburg- (Figure 4). A 6 kW f ibre laser source is
methods, laser-based technologies take Western Pomerania, a rapid used here for the production of flat
centre stage of the work since the development was achieved in the panels out of sheet metals with
establishment of the SLV M-V. In the increase in output power of the fibre thicknesses between 5 and 10 mm.
short and medium-term, the laser beam lasers. In the following year different Special milled joint preparation ensures
hy brid welding and the mobile use of inv estigations for industrial applications, that with the limited laser power all the
laser technologies are the emphasis of particularly for shipbuilding, were sheet metal thicknesses within the
our activities. accomplished with this laser source at mentioned range can be welded.
the SLV Mecklenburg-Western
By the combination of the competences Pomerania. Since November 2006, the shipyard has
of all the departments of the SLV M-V an the certificate of the Classification
individual package can be put at the Society "DNV - Det Norske Veritas" f or
disposal to the customer that promises the new welding method and use it in the
high practical usage with quality manufacturing of the largest cruise ships
improvement of processes and products of the world.
as well as the reductions of costs in

Figure 3: Demonstration of the Laser-

GMA-hybrid welding with 10 kW fibre
laser source on a conventional One
Side Welding Station.

Left: Welding gantry with hydraulic Right: Lateral view of the hybrid
clamping technology for one side welding process and the brackets for
welding of sheet metals. clamping the sheet metal during
Figure 4: First manufacturing welds on the retro-fitted plant of the Aker shipyard in Turku.
Left: Manufactured joint after the outlet of the sheet metal from the plant.
Right: Manufactured connection in the plant before the outlet, clamping claw just detached

With the procurement of a new panel line all over the world with our high power Quality improvement in the hull
at its location Monfalcone, the Italian production plants. manufacturing processes with rising cost-
shipyard Fincantieri also decided to pressure is a challenge for European
inv est in laser technology in the year The Ingenieurtechnik und Maschinenbau shipbuilding in the next years. The extent
2007. GmbH supplies innovative production of utilization of expensive capital goods
lines of different degree of e.g. laser sources must also be improved
The general order for the entire panel mechanization-and automation process in typical individual- and small-batch
line is implemented by the IMG Rostock. developments for shipbuilding that are manufacturing units. In addition the
A 10 kW of fibre laser source is used in a optimally customized to the need of the advantages of the laser technology in the
new One Side Welding Station (Figure customer, for e.g. in the range of the UP- processing of three-dimensional
5). It is the aim, to weld the entire plate side welding, the laser beam hybrid structures in shipbuilding must be taken
thickness range from 5 mm to 20 mm welding or the MAG-Tandem welding into account. With this background,
based on laser. belong to this. several research projects were initiated.
However, typical for shipyards with the
product spectrum of cruise ships, the New technologies are realized together Research projects in relation to the
largest portion of welding tasks is within with the scientific mechanisms. laser application in shipbuilding
the plate thickness range from 5 mm to
12 mm. www.img-tech.de In the European project DOCK LASERS,
the basics for a mobile use of solid-state
lasers in shipbuilding were developed
Future applications of high-power with participation of the SLV M-V from
solid-state lasers in shipbuilding 2002 to 2006. In addition the acceptance
Ingenieurtechnik und Maschinenbau of solid-state lasers at the European
GmbH (IMG), Rostock Meanwhile, a disk laser with a power shipyards was greatly increased by the
range of more than 8 kW is also available project.
As a system supplier of the shipbuilding-, as an alternative to the f ibre laser. The
mechanical engineering- and steel final customer and end user will gain In the so called PALAS project of the
industry, the IMG today is one of the from this technical development as now a Mey er shipyard in Papenburg, the Laser-
prominent outfitters of the world. better coordinated and customised GMA-hybrid welding of three-dimensional
service range of "laser technology" can structures by means of stationary robotic
The company was one of the main be offered to him. systems is developed.
partners with the modernization of the Similarly in practical tests conducted over Continuous path control and process
shipyards at the German Baltic Sea several months at the SLV MV and also control with changing welding positions
coast, developed together with the at the IMG, good results were achieved represent special challenges in this
shipbuilding enterprises new shipyard with an 8 kW disk laser. Particularly, with project.
concepts and supplies the largest part of a view to future applications, the
the new outfits. av ailability of several laser sources is
helpful for investment decisions in a
Building on our experiences since mid- shipbuilding market characterized by
nineties, we have equipped enterprises increasing competition.
Figure 5: Panel line during the installation in Monfalcone, in the foreground the One-Side Welding Station for the production of butt
welds between individual sheet metals

In a cooperation project for the

inv estigation of new high-performance Conclusion and prospects
technologies in shipbuilding, the bases
for mechanized, tractor-based laser At the applications of high-power solid-
cutting and Laser-GMA-hybrid welding in state lasers in shipbuilding, implemented
the block- and dock-assembly is so far, it becomes clear that these can be
developed by the SLV M-V and the Aker used signif icantly and economically also
shipyard in Rostock. at large structures. The break-through for
Presently, the prototype of a welding solid-state lasers in shipbuilding
tractor f or cutting and welding with solid- succeeded with the high-power fibre
state lasers in obligatory position is lasers of the manufacturer IPG. These
developed at the ship outer shell plating. proved their utility in the past 3 years in
shipbuilding. Meanwhile a constantly
A maritime cooperation project under growing interest in high-power solid-state
participation of the SLV M-V meets a lasers is noted in European shipbuilding.
short to medium-term challenge: new
rules of the IMO – International Maritime By the enhancement of the application
organization – demand the assurance possibilities of solid-state lasers in
and the certificate proof of the coating different projects the European
quality of so called free edges at the hull. shipbuilding can make the advantages
In addition, the rounding or breaking of regarding costs and quality usable during
each free sheet-edge in the hull is the hull manufacturing.
necessary on medium-term.
This is at present exclusively done via The experiences from the research
manual subsequent machining by means projects and the current usage in the
of an angle grinder. With more than shipyards will lead to an enhancement of
40,000 meters of free edges in a typical application at stationary systems for two-
cruise ship, the challenge of the and three-dimensional applications.
production costs and quality is clear. In Besides, the mobility of the tool LASER
the project, different thermal tools and in shipbuilding opens new perspectives.
also the high power solid-state laser, are Our goal is having laser tools which can
inv estigated for the processing of the be transported, handled and adapted
edges. easily with mechanized equipment and
then their usage will not be restricted to
shipbuilding alone. Meanwhile there is a
strong interest in such solutions f rom
The three mentioned projects are funded other industries such as pipe
by the Federal Ministry for economics manufacturing.
and technology by means of the agency
responsible for the project executing
organization Jülich. Cordial thanks for