An efficient tool-path planning approach for repair of cylindrical components via laser cladding


Laser metal deposition (LMD) is extensively used for repairing and remanufacturing mechanical components. Amongst these components, the vast majority comprise of cylindrical and planar geometries. In recent remanufacturing work, it is a challenge to generate a deposition tool-path directly from point cloud data of a damaged surface. Additionally, the acquisition of high resolution point cloud data that is necessary to carry out a high precision repair presents another problem since it is a time-consuming process. Hence, this paper explores a novel approach for tool-path generation for the repair of cylindrical components directly from point clouds via LMD technology. The presented method discounts the surface reconstruction and registration steps and directly generates tool-path from the damaged point cloud data. In this paper, a comparison is drawn between the traditional framework of reverse engineering and the proposed approach. Following, a tool-path generation method is presented, which incorporates enhancing the resolution or information density of the point cloud data. Finally, the results are validated through a robot laser cladding system (RLCS), which carries out autonomous repair based on the tool-path algorithm. The proposed method is demonstrated to repair a cylindrical fixed bend.

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We express our gratitude to Group Six Technologies Inc. for their intellectual assistance and technical support. We also express our appreciation to the other team members in the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation (LIMDA) for sharing their wisdom during the research. The authors acknowledge the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Grant Nos. (NSERC RGPIN-2017-04516 and NSERC CRDPJ 537378-18) for funding this project.

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Correspondence to Rafiq Ahmad.

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Imam, H.Z., Zheng, Y. & Ahmad, R. An efficient tool-path planning approach for repair of cylindrical components via laser cladding. Jnl Remanufactur (2020).

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  • Reverse engineering
  • Remanufacturing
  • Laser cladding
  • Robot laser cladding system
  • Tool-path generation
  • Cylinders