PSA Peugeot Citroen uses lasers for full-length weld seams

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In welding the body of the Peugeot 3008, a car which is to be launched summer 2009, PSA Peugeot Citroën has made use of three TruDisk 6002 lasers as well as a TruDisk 4002, all produced by Trumpf. The disk lasers, with power ranges to 6kW and 4kW respectively, have been used to weld the doors and body reinforcements of the new Peugeot at the assembly plant located in Sochaux, France. Instead of individual spot welds, the disk lasers lay a full-length weld seam. 'This enables us to achieve high body stiffness in our new Peugeot 3008,' says Jean-Charles Schmitt, product and process laser manager at PSA, who describes the benefits of laser welding.

In addition, the use of the disk laser allowed PSA engineers to develop new design options: 'Compared to conventional spot welds, full-length weld seams in car body manufacturing requires less sheet folding and thickness due to a specific laser design, and thus saves about 5kg of weight per vehicle,' explains Schmitt. PSA also could increase the size of the rear-quarter windows, allowing better visibility for the driver and the passengers.

The four TruDisk lasers used in production supply 10 processing stations, which the Trumpf LaserNetwork, in turn, supplies with the necessary laser power for welding. 'The LaserNetwork enables us to take optimal advantage of the available power from the four disk lasers and achieve capacities of almost 100 per cent. With this network design, PSA does not need any backup laser source,' says Schmitt, who adds, 'In case of a problem we can easily switch the whole pool of stations on the three remaining sources, with little production loss.'