NASA Center: Marshall Space Flight Center
Public Release Year: 1982
Reference Number: MSFC-SO-114
Category: Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
Origin: Automatic Welding of Space Components
Robotic welding has been of interest to industrial firms because it offers higher productivity at lower cost than manual welding. There are some systems with automated arc guidance available, but they have disadvantages, such as limitations on types of materials or types of seams that can be welded; susceptibility to stray electrical signals; restricted field of view; or tendency to contaminate the weld seam. Wanting to overcome these disadvantages, Marshall Space Flight Center, aided by Hayes International Corporation, developed system that uses closed-circuit TV signals for automatic guidance of the welding torch. NASA granted license to Combined Technologies, Inc. for commercial application of the technology. They developed a refined and improved arc guidance system. CTI in turn, licensed the Merrick Corporation, also of Nashville, for marketing and manufacturing of the new system, called the CT2 Optical Trucker. CT2 is a non-contracting system that offers adaptability to broader range of welding jobs and provides greater reliability in high speed operation. It is extremely accurate and can travel at high speed of up to 150 inches per minute.
Page Number in Published book: 88
Manufacturer: Combined Technologies, Inc.