On September 21, 2023, Samsung Heavy Industries, a South Korean shipbuilding giant, announced that Samsung has developed a laser high-speed welding robot for maritime applications, aiming to significantly improve the productivity of building liquefied natural gas ships (LNG ships).
It reported that the new technology was specifically for welding hull membrane plates used quickly in the cargo hold of LNG ships. The membranes are made in thin stainless steel layers and come into direct contact with ultra-low temperature liquid natural gas.
Comparative tests show that the traditional plasma arc welding (PAW) method takes about 5 minutes to weld a 2-meter-long membrane plate, while the new laser welding robot can complete the task in just 1 minute.
A swing welding method is for the laser high-speed welding robot developed by the Samsung Production Technology Research Center to rotate the laser beam at precise intervals and speeds. This technology also has a de-focusing function, which can adjust the focus, and the laser displacement sensor can locate the bending welding position automatically.
The integrated advanced welding technology can improve the efficiency of shipbuilding companies in building LNG ships.
Samsung plans to complete application testing with the liquefied natural gas cargo hold (MK-III) of French engineering company GTT and begin full-scale production with this technology after obtaining final customer approval later this year.
Choi Du-Jin, head of Samsung Heavy Industry Production Technology Research Center, said: “Laser high-speed welding robots will become the core technology that maintains overwhelming competitiveness in the key process of constructing cargo holds on LNG transport ships. In the future, we plan to apply them to high-speed welding of cargo holds on ultra-low-temperature liquid hydrogen transport ships.”
Official data shows that Samsung Heavy Industries maintains a global leading position in the high-tech shipbuilding industry, with a one-third share in the markets of drilling ships, LNG transport ships, and FPSO. Samsung has developed and built the world’s first Arctic shuttle tanker and LNG FPSO and opened up new markets by developing innovative products such as LNG FSRU, various ships in polar regions, Arctic icebreakers, and container ships. In the field of offshore facilities, it has also delivered the world’s largest semi-submersible offshore drilling platform successfully. If the laser high-speed welding robot can be used widely by Samsung Heavy Industry in the future, this technology can accelerate its penetration into the shipbuilding industry.
Source from ofweek.com