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Sciaky Electric Welding Machines, a manufacturer of resistance welding technology, is using Kistler piezoelectric strain sensors to meet the demands of the aerospace industry for the precise monitoring of the welding process.

Sciaky has a lot of experience in the development of resistance welding processes, especially of ‘difficult’ materials. In particular, aerospace applications, where very clean aluminium and titanium are welded, demand reliable monitoring of the welding process.

A critical parameter is the force exerted by the welding electrodes, which was previously measured by a load cell installed inside the ram connecting the weld cylinder to the electrode control mechanism. This required special machining and significant dismantling when replacement was needed, but has now been replaced by the Kistler sensor.

The conversion from strain to force is achieved using a Kistler Type 5073A single-channel industrial charge amplifier which is mounted on the machine remotely from the sensor.

In addition to fitting the sensors to new welding machines, Sciaky now retrofits the Kistler strain sensor whenever the old-style load cell needs replacing. According to Sciaky managing director, Louis Kunzig, the strain sensor is now fitted as standard to all Sciaky Resistance welding machines supplied for aerospace applications and for critical applications.

Key benefits of product application

  • The company has found that the Kistler strain sensors are easier to fit, simpler to replace, more reliable and longer lasting than the loadcells previously used.
  • Unlike the load cell, the piezoelectric strain sensor measures the force at the electrodes indirectly by reference to the strain on the main body of the machine. 
  • The Kistler piezoelectric strain sensor, mounted externally on the main structure of the machine, requires only simple machining to provide a flat seating and a single tapped hole for mounting the sensor.

Kistler Instruments

Established in Winterthur (Switzerland) in 1957, the Kistler Group now has a worldwide presence with 23 group companies and 30 distributors ensuring prompt, local application support and short delivery times. With a staff of more than 1,000, the Kistler Group is one of the world’s leading providers of dynamic measuring instrumentation.

Kistler’s core competence is the development, production and use of sensors for measuring pressure, force and acceleration.  Kistler’s know-how and electronic systems can be used to prepare measuring signals for use in analyzing physical processes, controlling and optimizing industrial processes, improving product quality in manufacturing and improving performance in sports and rehabilitation.

Kistler offers a comprehensive range of sensors and systems for engine development, automotive engineering, plastics and metal processing, installation technology and biomechanics.

Heavy investment in research and development, 15% of staff worldwide are engaged in research and development, has generated a number of innovations using piezoelectric, piezoresistive and capacitive techniques to provide solutions to numerous force, pressure and acceleration measuring problems. These innovations include the world’s first commercial quartz sensor, two-wire constant current technology to integrate sensors with microelectronic circuitry, high-temperature pressure sensors for use up to 400 Deg C and three-component force measuring sensors.

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