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Autonomous nondestructive evaluation of resistance spot welded joints...

by Dali Wang, Jian Chen, Zhili Feng
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Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
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The application of non-destructive evaluation approaches has attracted strong interests in modern automotive industries. This study presents an autonomous deep-computing framework to analyze raw videos from infrared systems and to predict weld nugget shape and size with unprecedented accuracy and speed. In a comprehensive training and testing experiment with 90 videos (seven sets of welding material stack-ups), a new method was developed to assemble sufficient datasets for neural network training. Our framework successfully predicts all the nugget shapes with F1 scores that range from 0.84 to 0.92. The total training time on Nvidia DGX station takes less than 10 min for each set of welding material stack-up. The real inference time of an individual dataset (with 30 video frames) takes about 0.005 s. The procedure and methods developed in the study can be applied to other image-based weld property prediction, as well as other manufacturing processes. Furthermore, our well-trained neural networks take limited memory resources (2.3 MB) and are suitable for embedded microprocessors for in-situ welding quality control as edge computing within an intelligent welding framework.