Procudo® Laser Peening System Upgrades Promote Factory Integration

New Procudo® Laser Peening System upgrades include remote monitoring, AI-based operations, offline programming, and a more user-friendly human machine interface (HMI).

Posted: January 11, 2021
By: mmahoney

LSP Technologies has announced Procudo® Laser Peening System upgrades and enhancements to integrate laser peening more easily and effectively into factory workflow and operations.

The Procudo® Laser Peening System upgrades include:

  • A more user-friendly human machine interface (HMI) that not only simplifies operation with clearer graphics, but also supports a linear workflow.
  • Optional Offline Programming with 3D models to accelerate development of laser peening treatment patterns for complex geometric shapes.
  • Secure remote monitoring from anywhere in the world for customers and the LSP Technologies’ Technical Services team.
  • AI-based alerts for irregular conditions and reminders for maintenance and supplies.
LSP Technologies Chief Operating Officer Eric Collet, Vice President of Engineering Mark Bloomberg, and Head of Controls Engineering Michael Yao.
LSP Technologies Chief Operating Officer Eric Collet, Vice President of Engineering Mark Bloomberg, and Head of Controls Engineering Michael Yao.

“Streamlined HMI screens will ease training and make laser peening more manageable on the factory floor,” said Eric Collet, LSP Technologies Chief Operating Officer. “Meanwhile, remote monitoring provides two things every business wants: actionable data and high-level operational control. We’re extremely proud of the Procudo® System upgrades.”

Many industrial laser processes – like cutting, heat treatments, and etching – have been part of widely adopted factory processes, requiring a strong emphasis on safety, but not in-depth training in laser science and metallurgy.

“Laser peening requires more precision and some specialized knowledge, but we can now provide equipment that is much more intuitive for a novice user to operate,” said Michael Yao, LSP Technologies Head of Controls Engineering.

HMI goes step by step

Part of that, Yao explained, was programming a more work-flow oriented HMI. “That means the operator has more of a linear path, devoid of clutter, without going back and forth between screens. We have matched the HMI to that sequence of tasks necessary for the laser peening cycle.”

Procudo Laser Peening Systems enhanced - Human Machine Interface (HMI) for the Procudo Laser Peening System , resembling a streamlined checklist.
An HMI screen for Procudo® Laser Peening System operations resembles an orderly checklist.

Software and Controls has also provided a jumping-off point for enhancing remote monitoring of the Procudo® Systems. The need to provide that level of remote control and updating grew as LSP Technologies placed new Procudo® Systems with customers in Germany and China.

Cloud-based remote monitoring

“We’ve deployed a cloud-based monitoring system that allows us to monitor what’s happening across multiple laser peening systems, and that has enhanced our Technical Services for all customers,” said Mark Bloomberg, VP Engineering for LSP Technologies.

The remote system follows international ISA99 cyber-security standards, providing several benefits. Some software updates can now occur remotely for units in both domestic and international locations.

“Not everyone on the customer’s end is at the physical laser peening machine or can pay attention to it constantly, so with remote monitoring we can give the customer the ability to look at machine data anywhere they have secure internet access,” Yao said.

“We set up remote monitoring for MTLS (Shandong Maitelaisi Metal Surface Technology Co., Ltd.), our joint-venture in Weifang, China, last year,” Yao said. “Now we can push software updates here while they sleep in China, staggering times so as not to take up their valuable workday hours. This will reduce equipment installation and commission time on future international systems.”

Machine learning for AI alerts and diagnostics

Procudo® Systems have always included self-diagnostic and self-adjusting technologies to monitor power levels, assure laser beam quality, and deliver accurate spot size, as well as monitoring for chillers, water flow, hydraulics, and air flow intrinsic to the laser peening process.

Now, these systems feed data to artificial intelligence software to monitor supplies and all component functions by learning how they match up against typical operations patterns, Yao said.

“We have calibration and energy level data accessible from every point in the system, and new artificial intelligence software from Aveva is noticing new patterns we can use to anticipate and avoid many common issues,” Yao said. “For example, the algorithms will respond if you run a machine or process every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If that schedule gets interrupted, the system alerts us and the customer operators about the interruption.”

Saving operational time with offline programming

Customers will enjoy the convenient data gathering made possible by remote monitoring, as well as the simplicity of the new interfaces. Perhaps the most valuable cost saving innovation is putting Offline Programming into the hands of customer operations on the shop floor, a powerful technology no other laser peening provider can match.

“These offline programming tools streamline and standardize the process of laser peening a number of common metal component shapes, using 3D FEA models of the components and how they will interact with our equipment,” explained Mark Bloomberg, LSP Technologies Vice President of Engineering.

“In practice, that saves customers time in planning laser peening, and it also eliminates imprecise experiments with samples. It’s like having our 25 years of laser peening experience with shapes, alloys, and thicknesses, already in a time-saving toolkit,” Bloomberg said.

“When you can accurately predict what processing conditions are necessary for protecting a particular component, overall these Procudo® System enhancements help customers who need a very robust and reliable set of solutions,” he said.

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