Weld monitors and weld controllers are used for sensing joint quality (size or integrity), gap, position, current, voltage, or other output power supply variations. Weld controllers are also used to adjust parameters to compensate for variations in joint quality or output power. These devices are commonly known for speeding up setup time, reducing scrap, assuring uniform welds, and increasing quality and productivity. Weld monitors can also be used as a troubleshooting instrument in some cases.
Weld monitors sense various conditions or welding parameters, which impact finished joint quality, and relay this information to a monitor or controller. The monitor will provide warning indications if conditions are outside of tolerable ranges, or a weld controller will automatically adjust welding input parameters to bring welder output parameters or welding conditions back under control.
These devices are most important in automated or robotic welding processes and in specialized weld processes. Weld monitors and weld controllers are also used in a variety of other applications including inert metal gas (MIG) welding, tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, plasma arc welding, submerged arc welding, stick welding, automated welding, laser welding, electron beam welding, friction stir welding, and ultrasonic welding.
Types of Weld Monitors and Controllers
There are many types of weld monitors and weld controllers available, depending on the application. Common types include weld current monitors, weld displacement monitors, weld position monitors, welding rater monitors, welding speed monitors, weld geometry monitors, welding voltage monitors, welding temperature monitors, welder power monitors, and weld resistance monitors.
Weld monitors and weld controllers are available with additional special features, which commonly include multiple channel options to monitor several welding process parameters simultaneously. Specialized welder monitors and weld controllers such as laser welders, electron beam welder, friction stir welders and ultrasonic welders may have unique monitors and controllers. Some varieties allow waveforms and data to be printed via a built-in printer or through a COM port for screen captures and data collection.
Some weld monitors and weld controllers can measure displacement and force in addition to current and voltage. Weld monitors and weld controllers are commonly available in tabletop and handheld options. Additional features and options for weld monitors and weld controllers may also be available.