There are closed loop and open loop welding machines.
Closed loop welders use sensors to measure the current and voltage during the weld so the controller can automatically adjust during the weld the current and voltage to reach the optimal set values.
Open loop welders have no sensors for adjusting the current and the voltage during the weld - you just get what you get.
Closed-loop power supplies offer many benefits to the resistance welding process. The ability to accurately control weld energy is a key factor in overcoming the problems associated with the rapid changes in resistance during the weld. Small parts, which require shorter welding times, benefit from constant heating and feedback mode options. Weld monitoring features and process tools facilitate the implementation of successful process control programs, which are designed to meet demanding production and quality requirements. For resistance welding, closed-loop is clearly the technology of choice today and in the future.
Closed-loop resistance welding power supplies use current and voltage feedback sensors to control the energy delivered to the parts.
Closed-loop technologies provide many benefits for the resistance welding process including:
Controlled Heating Rates
Feedback Mode Options
Repeatable Weld Heat
Weld Monitoring Capabilities
Capacitor Discharge (CD) power supplies store energy in a capacitor bank prior to the weld. The energy is discharged through a pulse transformer to the weld head. The resulting high peak current and very fast rise time is useful for welding very conductive parts. The level of charge on the capacitor bank is usually programmed in watt-seconds or % energy. Time control is achieved by changing the transformer tap settings, which changes the pulse duration, or pulse width. Unfortunately, since a capacitor discharge power supply is open loop (no feedback), changes in the secondary circuit, such as loose cables or corroded connections can result in inconsistent energy delivery to the parts.
Direct Energy (AC) power supplies take energy directly from the power line as the weld is being made. Coarse current control is achieved by changing the tap settings on the welding transformer, which changes the voltage of the output. Fine adjustment of weld current is achieved by controlling the amount, in percent, of the AC power that is applied to the primary of the welding transformer. The weld time is controlled in line cycles (1 cycle = 20.0 milliseconds @ 50 Hz), the minimum usually being one half cycle. Line voltage fluctuations can affect the weld current delivered by open loop AC power supplies. For this reason, the input line must be well regulated. AC power supplies are general purpose welders with high energy output (not suitable for critical, fine welding applications). The longer welding times are useful for resistance brazing applications.
In Linear DC or Medium frequency inverter MF power supplies, a capacitor bank is charged up and the welding energy is released through a bank of transistors. Linear DC power supplies deliver an ultra stable output with a very fast rise time. Most DC power supplies can be programmed in constant current, constant voltage, or constant power. Time control can be programmed in increments as small as 0.01 milliseconds. (MF) Because DC power supplies offer the best low energy control, it is the best choice for welding fine wires and thin foils.
High frequency inverter HF technology utilizes pulse width modulation circuitry to control the weld energy. 3-phase input current is full wave rectified to DC, which is then switched to produce an AC current at the primary of the welding transformer. The resulting secondary current, when rectified, is in the form of DC with an imposed, low-level AC ripple. Like Linear DC welders, High Frequency Inverters can be programmed for constant current, voltage, or power operation. Time control can be programmed in 1 millisecond or 0.01 millisecond increments. High Frequency Inverters have very high repetition rates, so they are frequently used for automated applications.
- The current in secondary welding loop is DC. Dramatically reduce the impact to the welding current due to the inductive reactance in secondary loop when conducting welding to the work piece.
- The weight of transformer is reduced greatly. It is light and convenient. The weight and size of the MF transformer is only 1/3 of the AC type transformer. Suitable for robot welding system.
- Prolong the service life of electrode
- Be able to weld material like aluminum, galvanized steel, etc. with good welding performance.
- Especially suitable for three-layer plate welding, ultrathin material welding and precision welding.
- Less splashes.
- Increase control of current and welding quality.