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Resistance welding: parameter adjustments

Resistance welding: parameter adjustments


Contact Information

University: Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen (Geel, Belgium)

Team Member(s): Anton Wouters

Faculty Advisors: Hugo Belmans

Email Address:

Project Information

Title: Resistance welding: parameter adjustments


Building and programming of a machine for resistance spot welding. The software includes control of all components, as well as measurements during welding and visualization afterwards.


Used NI hardware:

  • NI SCB-68     connector block
  • NI SCB-100   connector block
  • NI 6251          PCI data-acquisition card
  • NI 6527          PCI data-acquisition card

Used NI software:

  • LabVIEW 10

The Challenge:

The goal was to combine both hardware and software to create a machine for making resistance spot welds for Philips Lighting Turnhout (Belgium). They are a company which use resistance welding to create the internal connections inside light bulbs for special applications (like stadium lighting).

The machine they needed would be used to adjust the currently used parameters for resistance welding, so it would not only be able to make the welds, but also collect all data associated with the welding process during the welding cycle. Therefore, I used LabVIEW to create a program that (amongst others) features:

  • Fast way of logging, visualizing and storing measurement data
  • Logging of voltage, current, power, displacement and welding force signals during welding with a 16 bit resolution and an adjustable measurement frequency up to 75 kHz.
  • Full control of the weld unit
  • Measured data is shown as tables and graphs, with the possibility to change between raw and modified data.
  • In-built Viewer for easy reviews of samples
  • Calibration options for all signals
  • Full positioning control of the components
  • Measured data is saved as .xls file, settings can be saved in an .txt file
  • Live camera feed during positioning, pictures taken during welding

The Solution:

The program interface is easy to handle (at least if resistance welding means something to you), and is developed according to the requirements given by the welding engineers at Philips Lighting. It has basically two sides: at the left you see all tabs needed to control the machine, at the right all measured data are shown, including tabs for the Viewer.


Picture of the (translated) program right after finishing a weld

The program features many different ways of communication:

Type of communicationApplication

Serial I/O

Communication with welding power supply (adjusting weld parameters)

Digital I/O

Control of pneumatic actuators

Control of  weld unit

Acquiring signal from feet pedals

Acquiring data from proximity sensor (limit switches)


Acquiring images from camera


Acquiring measurement data

I used this to control the following hardware:



Acquiring measurement data

NI SCB-100

Receiving digital signal from proximity switches in pneumatic slides

Receiving digital signals from feet pedals

Controlling the valve terminal

Triggering the weld unit

Festo valve terminal

Control of all pneumatic actuators

Solartron OD5 transducer conditioner

Confers the value of a LVDT to a voltage signal and gets the noise out of the signal

Kistler Charge Amplifier

Confers the value of a piëzosensor (mounted underneath the lower welding electrode) to a voltage signal (Welding force)

McGregor DC2003 welding power supply

Generates the weld pulse

AVT Marlin camera

Taking pictures of the components before, during and after welding

Provides live camera feed during positioning

Newport adjustable stages

Used for advanced positioning of the weldable components (rotation around x, y and z, translation in x, y, z)

Here are some pictures of the machine:


Picture of the machine. In the back you can see the control board. Left is the welding power supply (not visible), to the right you can just make out the keyboard of the PC.

Detail opstelling.bmp

Closer look on the welding electrodes and the pneumatic components. The blue machine in the back is the welding power supply.

Benefits of using LabVIEW:

I used LabVIEW because it makes it very easy to connect all sorts of devices into one big, working machine. It is also a language that is easy to work with, and has a very intuitive way of writing. More technically, I found out LabVIEW is extremely fast when it comes to communication with other devices and saving/loading data in comparison with other programs and computer languages.

The program

A translated version of the program is added, along with a demo version (which should be able to run without the machine). Comments are added to the code, but if you have more questions about it you can always send me an email. Unfortunately, I couldn't add demo samples because they are too big (>1 MB). If you want some, you can email me too.

Download All

Hey AntwonW,

Thank you so much for your project submission into the NI LabVIEW Student Design Competition. It's great to see your enthusiasm for NI LabVIEW! Make sure you share your project URL( with your peers so you can collect votes for your project and win. Collecting the most "likes" gives you the opportunity to win cash prizes for your project submission. I'm curious to know, what's your favorite part about using LabVIEW and how did you hear about the competition?

Good Luck, Kristine in Austin, TX.


Sorry for the late reply, I've been quite busy lately...

I heard from the competition from other students at school; I wasn't registered yet on, so I didn't received any emails about it.

My favorite part on using LabVIEW is the possibility to create a front panel with fully programmable controls and indicators, which can also be completely adapted to your application. Also, the use of property nodes and event structures makes the program very easy to handle, and it can react to almost any input the user can give. I also find it a great advantage that you can use advanced code blocks to create your VI, but all these blocks are also fully customizable. And last but definitely not least, I really like the visual programming concept: it makes it a whole lot easier to see all the connections in your code, and makes the programming a lot more intuitive instead of learning all commands by heart.



NI Employee (retired)

Great submission.

Tell your friends to "vote" for your submission by "liking" it. Here is a document explaining how they do this:

If you collect hte most "likes," you can win cash prizes from NI. (1st place: $750, 2nd place: $500, 3rd place: $250).

Have a great day.