According to the company, its hybrid laser arc welding (HLAW) system combines the deep weld penetration and low heat input of laser welding with the power efficiency and gap tolerance of gas metal arc welding (GMAW). Laser welders can have difficulty producing acceptable weld fusion in weldments with wide gaps between parts. Adding GMAW in tandem with the laser, along with a modest amount of filler metal, creates a wider weld bead capable of bridging weld gaps as large as four times the width that conventional laser processes can handle. GMAW's slower cooling rates are also said to produce stronger, less brittle welds. A key component of the system is a closed-loop control that allows the system to monitor the weld joint in real time and modify the process to accommodate a joint mismatch. The control allows travel speeds that would not be possible with conventional control systems, the company says. This technology is available as a robotic system, a portable tractor system or on a moving gantry. The hybrid process is designed to improve process efficiency and overall productivity; improve weld quality; lower production costs; and offer more versatility than conventional welding processes.