What Engineers need to know about Laser Screw Welding (LSW)
Kagan Pittman posted on April 15, 2015 |
Laser welding improves speed and quality for body assembly at Lexus

LSW, short for Laser Screw Welding, is Toyota’s latest technique in assembly line body welding.

First used on the Lexus LS, the technique is as cool as its name. Watch the process in action in the video below.

Toyota boasts a superior weld using LSW over spot welding. Low heat lasers prevent distortion on body panels ensuring superior accuracy, minimal use of welding materials and durable construction.

The weld itself is completed in under a second, compared to 2.5 seconds using spot welding.

Compared to conventional laser welding, laser screw welding addresses common problems like those displayed below.

Conventional laser welding doesn’t always create perfect fusion between sheets. Compare the above images to the results of LSW seen below.

Compared to conventional laser welding, the process can be used to fuse effectively three to four sheets.

Laser screw welding is currently being used alongside spot welding, which it may eventually replace.

LSW is also being used interchangeably between aluminum and steel materials on assembly lines. With the technology’s versatility and speed, Toyota claims a reduction in assembly line length by nearly 50 percent. This in turn could result in a reduction in plant C02 emissions.

As other manufacturers adopt the technique, automotive assembly lines across the globe will likely shrink in size.

Learn more about the Toyota New Global Architecture initiative behind LSW with us here.

Could Toyota’s laser screw welding techniques be the first step in revolutionizing automotive manufacturing? With improved construction quality, increased manufacturing speed and fewer squeaks and rattles thanks to a more rigid body structure, the future of the Toyota’s technology seems laser bright.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

(All images courtesy of Toyota)

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