Our SpotMeld™ solid-state joining system is a Refill Friction Stir Spot Weld (RFSSW) solution for joining aluminum, magnesium, non-ferrous and dissimilar sheet materials, providing an alternative to processes like resistance spot welding, laser welding and riveting. As compared to these methodologies, SpotMeld is an easier process to fixture plus the automated tool change capability saves significant time as compared to self-piercing rivet changeover. And, the systems are designed to have the same basic footprint and work envelope as a resistance spot-weld robot, putting it in familiar context for high production applications. Additionally, a variety of weld recipes can be used on demand by the robot controller, which results in a very flexible production system.
SpotMeld, based upon RFSSW, uses a three-piece tool to join two or more faying surfaces. Heat generated between the tool and materials creates a soft, plastic-like region that is then forged into a nugget. In addition to joining lightweight materials, benefits include high quality solid state joints that are near original material strength, a small heat affected zone, consistency in weld duplication and faster weld times — as well as being environmentally cleaner and safer with no filler material, spatter, smoke, radiation or shield gasses.
A major advantage of the Lincoln Electric Automation system is that the tool doesn’t fully penetrate through the bottom sheet, leaving a smooth surface with potential for use on exterior body panels. Alternative friction spot welding techniques typically use a solid pin that does not retract leaving a surface that has some material off-set on it as well as a 3 -4mm hole in the center of the weld.
SpotMeld welding heads can be mounted on any industrial robot or retrofit for replacement of existing processes such as resistance spot welding, laser welding and riveting. These systems can currently join a stack-up of materials from 0.8mm to 8.0mm, weld dissimilar aluminums (1000 – 7000 series) in one stack and join multiple sheets across the edge of a panel. The only utility cables needed are the servo lines required to connect the servo motor as well as water cooling lines for the tools, offering easier fixturing and energy savings.
We accept applications for prototype project requests. Please submit your initial request for parts joining prototype work. We can work to produce custom parts that make use of advanced joining technology as well as apply a joining to your existing parts. Provide some of the information below and we’ll contact you for more details and state the process with your team.