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SCOUT: A Better Solution for Many Production Tasks

Welding-LaserPrecise, error-free and fast - these are the main requirements for robotic laser welding in car body manufacture, for gluing and sealing of windscreens, or when there are long cutting paths. The joint tracking system SCOUT, developed by DASA (Daimler-Benz Aerospace), three-dimensionally positions the robot or the portal along the joint with an accuracy of +/- 0.05mm. Scout automates gluing, welding, sealing and cutting at tool path feedrates of more than 20 meters per minute. Scout's realtime 3D image processing (50 Hz) precisely follows the three-dimensional path of the joint.

The SCOUT Sensor Has a Good Reputation in Large Companies

The production advantages of Scout, which does not require a time-consuming teaching process, are well-established at internationally leading companies. Volkswagen, for instance, was the first automobile manufacturer in the world to use the SCOUT joint-guidance system for laser welding in the manufacture of car bodies. P.S.A. (Peugeot/Citroen) is also testing SCOUT in its body production. In the food industry, SCOUT is relied on when there is need for non-porous laser joints, e.g. in vessel construction.
The latest generation of SCOUT can now also be used in MAG and MIG welding, as well as in inert arc welding with non-consumable electrodes.
SCOUT: System Components and Interfaces

The sensor head and the sensor computer are the main components of Scout. The sensor head, which is attached to the portal or the tool in a leading position, transmits video sequences of the joint or the edge to the computer, where the images are processed according to the patented light-slit / gray image method. Every single video image captures up to five measuring points. This guarantees a high density of measuring points, good signal-to-noise ratio and the reliable recognition of starting and end points of the joint. The sensor computer is based on VME-Bus and therefore supports all standardized interfaces. In laser beam welding, the work laser can be controlled via analog as well as digital interfaces. One-dimensional applications in joint tracking with a separate linear or swivel axis have also been successfully tested.
On the whole, the specific advantages of the SCOUT laser joint guidance system come to fruition through the intelligent integration of the measuring data into the robot or portal control.
The interface between the sensor computer and common control systems can in the vast majority of cases be adapted for an existing installation without any problems.

Scout has already been successfully integrated into the following control systems:

SIEMENS RCM 3C control with KUKA industrial robots (1R361/8, 1R161/24), 6 axes

SIEMENS RCM 3C control with MANUTEC robot, 6 axes

Volkswagen VRSI control with 1R361/8 (6 axes), VK 120 and Volkswagen portal (5 axes)

IBH Macro 8000 control with Arnold and Trumpf portals (5 axes)

Power Automation PA 8000




Interfaces for other control systems are in preparation: