Joining panels is a fundamental skill in vehicle construction. Volkswagen has been using the innovative laser soldering technique to join the roof and side sections of vehicles together for several years now. This is because it produces a continuous and particularly neat weld seam. The Wolfsburg and Pamplona (Spain) sites have now been working together to make further improvements to this welding technique. It is already being used for the construction of the new Polo in Pamplona and Uitenhage (South Africa) as well as for the T-Roc in Palmela, Portugal.
The challenge presented by laser soldering is that up to now it could only be used for joining electrolytically galvanized sheet metal, as the sheets have a uniform surface structure. However, hot-dip galvanized sheet metal is less expensive. Furthermore, it is easy to source all over the world, and for a high-volume manufacturer such as Volkswagen, which is active across the globe, this is of inestimable value.