Sealing of car doors are complex in shape, need to be long term reliable and cheap. And they need to fulfil an ever growing set of functions from water protection, wind protection, frost resistant and anti-abrasive, to name only some properties. Most rubber based seals contain an aluminium core which provides a completely different set of mechanical properties. Cutting of these sealing structures therefore is a complex task. PROCUT3D aims to create a laser-based manufacturing tool that can easily adapt processing strategy and processing parameters to the actual type of sealing profile. Different layers of aluminium, rubber and air need to be taken into account to provide a burr free, non-carbonised cut face of the sealing. All this needs to be executed in three dimensional space along a predefined trajectory which needs to be matched to the actual position of the profile.
The PROCUT3D laser-based cutting machine will be flexible in setup and programming to enable a fast transition from one type of sealing to another. Through a close integration of design files and machine control, the configuration effort for the operator will be at a minimum. The process parameters will be adapted depending on the actual type of profile such that the cutting depth of the laser is controlled. The programming of the trajectory for the cut will be implemented through an ICT interface such that reprogramming is avoided. The achievement of these goals will deliver a flexible machine that can produce car sealing on demand and replace energy and time consuming production steps.
Laser based car door seals cutting has been satisfactorily assessed in a purpose-developed robotized fibre laser cutting cell. Some issues due to soot formation were found to be solved to a large extent using short pulse lasers. An acceptable method for 3D cutting trajectories generation based on commercial software was established.