Thermal welding is still the most important joining technology for vehicle production. One problem, however, is welding distortion. Due to local heat input, thermally induced stresses occur which can lead to undesired shape deviations of the welded components. Minimizing these interference effects used to require time-consuming test series. Software solutions for simulation support hardly fulfilled the requirements from practice.

In cooperation with users from the shareholder companies, inpro succeeded in developing a novel software solution between 2003 and 2007 that set new standards in welding simulation in terms of both computing time and user-friendliness. Using numerous real components, the simulation program demonstrated that welding distortion can be predicted quickly and accurately. By simulating different positions for fixtures and different welding sequences, it is possible to efficiently minimize welding distortion.

Under the name “Weld Planner”, this inpro development has been offered by the French ESI Group since 2008 with worldwide service and support. Within the framework of a close partnership between ESI, inpro and the inpro shareholder companies, work is continuously being done on the user-oriented further development of the simulation solution.

inpro can proudly claim to have significantly advanced the worldwide implementation of high-power laser systems in automotive production through the work and successes of the laser technology work area. Out of the drive for innovation and implementation at that time, several project team members have founded their own companies and successfully placed them on the market, including Photon AG, which now has 200 employees.”

Holger Alder, Founder and Member of the Board of Photon AG