Laser welding technology rides on the wind in the field of shipbuilding

Release date:2021-10-09     Article Source:Raycus Laser    

2021 is the first year of the "14th Five-Year Plan". High-end manufacturing has been put on the agenda. Coupled with the outbreak of the epidemic, a large number of overseas orders have been transferred to China, creating opportunities for the transformation of my country's high-end manufacturing. Under the advocacy of high-efficiency, energy-saving, and environmental protection to promote industrial development, laser welding technology has gradually emerged in high-end applications such as new energy vehicles, aerospace, and rail ships.

According to the data of the "2021 China Laser Industry Development Report", the market size of China's laser welding in 2020 has reached 11.05 billion yuan. From 2016 to 2017, driven by the demands of new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, semiconductors and emerging markets, China's laser welding equipment market has seen explosive growth, increasing by more than 120%, although in recent years it has been affected by the macroeconomic recession and the global epidemic However, the overall market size is still showing an upward trend, and it broke through the 10 billion mark for the first time in 2019. With the need for the transformation and upgrading of high-end applications such as rail transit and shipbuilding, the demand for welding of medium and large plates and steel plates is increasing, and the penetration rate of laser welding equipment will accelerate.


2016-2020 China's laser welding equipment market scale (unit: 100 million yuan)

(Picture source: "2021 China Laser Industry Development Report")


High-end applications such as shipbuilding may become a new growth point for laser welding

At present, China's laser industry has entered the era of full application. The strong market share of low-end localization has brought about increasingly serious price wars and homogeneity. Higher power, higher precision, and higher efficiency have become the industry. The common pursuit is ultimately tied to the same technical framework. Therefore, the development of differentiated high-end applications has become a new direction for laser companies to break through in the market.

Looking at my country's high-end manufacturing field, in addition to the two major markets of automobile manufacturing and power batteries, the overall penetration rate of laser welding in other application fields is still relatively small. Taking the shipbuilding industry as an example, the overall volume of the shipbuilding industry is very large, but due to the particularity of its materials and industry, the current application rate of laser welding is not high.

According to statistics from DIG Automation Engineering (Wuhan) Co., Ltd., a provider of shipbuilding automation production line solutions, the volume of shipbuilding welding depends on the ship type. The medium and thick plates are mainly the parts below the deck, and the thin plates are mainly the superstructure. For example, luxury cruise ships with 4-12 mm thickness steel plate welding accounted for 80%, and medium-thickness plates accounted for 20%; while the proportion of bulk carriers was just the opposite. However, in the welding process of medium and thick plates, most ship construction still uses traditional welding techniques such as submerged arc welding and MIG/MAG welding, and the overall efficiency has not reached expectations.

Compared with traditional welding, laser welding has higher efficiency, higher precision, better effect, and easier automation and intelligent integration. It is a weapon to achieve industrial upgrading and is especially suitable for high-end precision manufacturing such as shipbuilding and aerospace. For example, as a new welding process, laser hybrid welding technology is faster than arc welding, with less thermal deformation and rework, high weld quality, reduced filler consumption, and significantly improved finished product quality.


Welding seam effect of laser composite puzzle welding

Take the jigsaw welding as an example, the speed of submerged arc welding is 550 mm/min, MIG/MAG can reach 700 mm/min, the double wire MIG/MAG can reach about 1500 mm/min, and the same as the laser MIG/MAG composite The welding speed can reach 2400 mm/min, and the efficiency is a great advantage. It is currently the fastest welding process for thin plate welding in ship construction. "An Xingguang, the person in charge of DIG Process R&D Center, introduced.



20 mm and 25 mm laser composite blank welding


Welding upgrades in the marine field, domestic lasers are the key to breaking the game

The laser is the core device in the laser welding system. From the perspective of industrial development, the main reason why the domestic laser welding industry lags behind European and American countries is the core light source. From this point of view, with the iterative upgrade of traditional welding processes and the efficient expansion of ship applications, domestic lasers have become the key to breaking the game.

In the early years, imported lasers were thriving in the high-end manufacturing field, and foreign companies such as IPG, Coherent, Trumpf and other companies occupied the main market share in the early days. After years of technical research, a large number of excellent laser companies have emerged in China to compete with foreign brands. For example, domestic laser manufacturers represented by Raycus Laser continue to break foreign monopolies in the field of core light sources, which has led to an overall decline in laser prices. , Improve the penetration rate of domestic laser welding equipment in various fields.

In the shipbuilding industry, laser welding is still in the process of preliminary exploration to replace traditional welding. In addition, the market scale of domestic lasers and foreign lasers is not much different, and there is no essential difference in processing effects. Domestic lasers are relatively in the shipbuilding field. Great room for development.

Raycus’ Laser Welding Industry Director Tong Wei mentioned, “At present, in high-end manufacturing fields such as ships and automobiles, some leading companies have begun to use laser welding technology.” Waigaoqiao Shipyard, Guangzhou Shipyard International, Huangpu Shipyard, Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai China Eastern Shipyard, China Merchants Heavy Industry and other well-known domestic shipyards began to use laser welding technology and equipment, opening up a new situation for domestic laser welding technology to enter the high-end application field.

Under the overall situation, who will carry the banner of localization of laser welding?

Laser welding is in urgent need of technological empowerment. Under the overall situation, who can carry the banner of localization? Since Raycus Laser became the first domestic fiber laser company to be listed in 2018, domestic brands led by Raycus Laser have played a market game with foreign brands. Raycus Laser’s market share was 17.3% in 2018, and it will grow to 24.4% in 2020. The rising domestic brand market rate allows us to see the rise and hope of domestic brands.

We used to mainly use a certain foreign brand laser, but with the rise of domestic lasers, we gradually replaced Raycus laser products. The welding effect is still very satisfactory, and the shipyard users are relatively satisfied. "Referred to An Xingguang, head of DIG Process R&D Center, Raycus Laser's partner in the field of ship welding.


Laser composite welding of a large domestic shipyard

Under the background that domestic fiber lasers are ushering in large-scale replacement of imports, Raycus Laser actively explores high-end application fields such as laser welding, and continuously develops and customizes fiber laser products and solutions suitable for different needs.在Affected by the epidemic in 2020, Raycus Laser’s laser sales in the welding application market broke a new high, a year-on-year increase of 152%.

In fact, Raycus Laser began its deployment in the field of laser welding as early as 2018, and cooperated with the Harbin Institute of Technology State Key Laboratory of Advanced Welding and Connection and the Harbin Institute of Technology Welding Group to jointly commit to the research of core technologies and work together to conduct research in the high-end welding field.

In order to adapt to the welding of thick plates or special materials, the 12 kW high-power continuous laser developed by Raycus Laser can be used in shipbuilding, aerospace, military, heavy industry, nuclear power and other fields. The 100 kW fiber laser is about to be delivered and will have a profound impact on the aerospace, ship high-speed rail, nuclear power and other industrial fields, including the welding of high-pressure steam pipelines, and the welding of large-scale workpiece bodies such as ship high-speed rail and spacecraft. Tunable beam welding lasers have also been sold in batches, and the product models have been diversified. They have the characteristics of no spatter, safety, and high weld quality, which can meet the various welding needs of the lithium battery industry and the automobile manufacturing industry.


Raycus Laser has a comprehensive layout to solve the difficulties of ship welding

Laser welding is different from laser marking and laser cutting. Its biggest feature is customization. Each customer's needs are different. This makes laser welding still in the initial stage of industrial application. However, as the manufacturing industry is further upgraded, the lightweight development of automobiles and ships, as well as high-end manufacturing fields such as aerospace and military industry have strong processing requirements, the development of laser welding technology in high-end applications is inestimable.

Faced with such a huge market, in order to further promote the localization of laser welding technology in high-end applications, Raycus Laser has made the following layout for the processing characteristics of medium and heavy plates in the shipbuilding industry:

In terms of products, ultra-high-power lasers with power feedback, bus control, and multi-channel output are launched; in terms of projects, a high-quality team with professional backgrounds is formed to track the progress of the project; in terms of technology, laser-arc hybrid welding technology, multi-channel and multi-channel Layer welding technology realizes digital and intelligent welding; in the market, taking advantage of aerospace science and industry, Raycus Laser has signed a cooperation agreement with the 11th China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation to jointly promote the application of laser welding in the shipbuilding industry.

Summary: Laser welding is in the initial stage of industrial application. But efficiency is still the core demand of the shipyard. From the perspective of efficiency and quality, laser welding of steel plates with a thickness of 16 mm or less has a sufficient advantage. At the same time, as domestic fiber laser manufacturers, represented by Raycus Laser, continue to break through the functional limits of core devices and practice process innovation, they will further promote the localization of high-end applications.

The article comes from: Photoelectricity Exchange Cover source: Internet