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OSL News Sept 2022
Oxford Sensors, the Bicester based manufacturer of laser vision systems for welding automation, recently took part in a prestigious Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) trade mission on Advanced Manufacturing to South Korea. Organised by Innovate UK, the GBIP missions aim to encourage collaboration between British companies and foreign, in this case, Korean, counterparts. During the visit, together with other selected high growth UK companies, Dr Beattie visited a number of Korean companies and government research institutes, where presentations were exchanged leading to topical discussions, some of which are ongoing. One of the main topics related to manpower. Korean companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and train welders despite a huge requirement. Considering that amongst other things, Korea builds nearly half of the world’s ships and that a ship is basically a very large welded steel structure, this is a vitally important topic and mirrors the situation in many other countries, including the UK, where recruitment and training of welders for the new nuclear programmes is a hot topic. This shortage is one of the main drivers behind an increased development programme in Korea focussed on advanced welding automation, often under the guise of the “Smart Factory”. Dr Beattie commented, “The situation with the recruitment of young people into welding is more or less the same worldwide. Manual welding is not an attractive career choice, even though it can be lucrative. We continue to develop our laser vision systems to be the sensors and adaptive brain of welding automation systems to meet the need to automate. Experienced manual welders use their eyes to continuously monitor the progress of their work, combining that input with their training and experience to adapt what they are doing to the task in hand. At Oxford Sensors, we try do something similar by using our laser sensors to measure the weld joint continuously and guide the welding robot or other automation to make the weld in the correct place.”
Oxford Sensors Takes Part in UK Trade Mission to South Korea
Dr Bob Beattie giving a presentation at the Korean Institute of Materials and Machinery (KIMM)