Development of a real-time laser-based machine vision system to monitor and control welding processes

  • Wei Huang
  • Radovan Kovacevic


In this study, a laser-based machine vision system is developed and implemented to monitor and control welding processes. The system consists of three main modules: a laser-based vision sensor module, an image processing module, and a multi-axis motion control module. The laser-based vision sensor is designed and fabricated based on the principle of laser triangulation. By developing and implementing a new image processing algorithm on the platform of LabVIEW, the image processing module is capable of processing the images captured by the vision sensor, identifying the different types of weld joints, and detecting the feature points. Based on the detected feature points, the position information and geometrical features of the weld joint such as its depth, width, plates mismatch, and cross-sectional area can be obtained and monitored in real time. Meanwhile, by feeding these data into the multi-axis motion control module, a non-contact seam tracking is achieved by adaptively adjusting the position of the welding torch with respect to the depth and width variations of the weld joint. A 3D profile of the weld joint is also obtained in real time for the purposes of in-process weld joint monitoring and post-weld quality inspection. The results indicate that the developed laser-based machine vision system can be well suited for the measurement of weld joint geometrical features, seam tracking, and 3D profiling.


Welding Laser triangulation Machine vision Seam tracking Feature extraction Quality inspection 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Advanced ManufacturingSouthern Methodist University, RCAM-SMUDallasUSA

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