Oldbury, West Midlands, England - In the Spring of 2003, Ferranti Photonics (Dundee, Scotland) completed commissioning a larger robotic, precision laser welding system at Accles & Pollock, a division of Caparo Precision Tubes, Ltd. This system was custom built to enable Accles & Pollock to supply its customer, CERN European Particle Physics Facility (Geneva, Switzerland), with key components for the Large Hadron Collider, presently under construction there. The components consist of thousands of stainless-steel tubular assemblies that will be assembled into two 27km long rings at CERN.
Each tube assembly is approximately 16 meters long and consists of three main tubes that, together with some additional parts, are laser welded under robotic control. An assembly requires about 40,000 high-tolerance laser spot welds that are completed in less than an hour.
Ferranti Photonics selected Garrandale Systems (Derby) and GSI Lumonics (Rugby) as subcontractors for the £600,000 plus project. The system has been in operation for more than 12 months, and by February it is expected that all 57 km of tube will have been completed.