They will be used to automate welding operations during production of monopiles for offshore wind installations.
Meta says its scanners are unique among laser vision sensors for welding in that they use the scanning spot principle rather than the more usual laser stripe method. The scanning spot system has significant advantages when welding the deep joints that are common when manufacturing monopiles, where wall thickness can be more than 100mm.
“We won this contract against tough competition and following a direct comparative evaluation in the customer's factory,” Dr Jing Zhao, Meta's manager for China comments. “The performance of the DLS in generating accurate profiles of deep, narrow weld joints is a significant benefit for our customers. The large depth of the joints results in extended welding times, so continuous, consistent performance over long periods is vital.
“Monopile welding has to be done quickly and efficiently to meet production targets but, at the same time, high quality standards are demanded. This project demonstrates that the quality and productivity benefits of advanced welding automation are persuasive, even in situations where cost considerations are very important.
“The Meta brand is well established and highly respected in China. This important new project gives us an opportunity to reinforce our leadership position in the market there,” Dr Jing Zhao adds.
The wind tower industry worldwide has become extremely competitive with the evolution of designs that place increasing requirements on fabrication and welding. To be competitive, it is necessary for wind tower manufacturers to combine high productivity with excellent quality by using the best practices available.
Meta has extensive experience in the field, having been working on wind tower and monopile welding for over fifteen years, with a range of installations in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Korea, the Netherlands and elsewhere.
Meta Vision Systems