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Research Papers

Predictive Control for Manual Plasma Arc Pipe Welding

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiangrong Li

Adaptive Intelligent Systems LLC,
Lexington, KY 40511
e-mail: xiangrong.li@outlook.com

YuMing Zhang

Adaptive Intelligent Systems LLC,
Lexington, KY 40511;
Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Kentucky,
Lexington, KY 40506
e-mail: ymzhang@engr.uky.edu

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 12, 2012; final manuscript received May 2, 2014; published online June 2, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Wei Li.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 136(4), 041017 (Jun 02, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1173; doi: 10.1115/1.4027627 History: Received June 12, 2012; Revised May 02, 2014

Plasma arc welding (PAW) has several advantages over traditional gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process. However, due to its sensitivity to welding parameters, this process has not been widely used in industry, especially for manual welding applications where variations in welding parameters are substantial. This paper introduces and implements a model predictive control (MPC) method to adjust welding current in order to compensate the effects from these variations during manual plasma welding operation. A linear model with adequate accuracy has been selected for the design of control system. Closed-loop control experiments verified the effectiveness of developed control system.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Block diagram of experimental platform

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Fig. 3

Innovative penetration control scheme

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Fig. 4

Process input/output signal for modeling test

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Fig. 5

Simulated control system block diagram

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Fig. 6

Simulated process output and desired trajectory

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Fig. 7

Comparison of process output, auxiliary variable and process input

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Fig. 8

Experiment result of welding current adjustment with MPC control algorithm

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Fig. 9

Experiment result of arc voltage trajectory tracking with MPC control algorithm

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Fig. 10

A typical pipe weld made by a novice welder using the developed control system

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