Development of an automatic arc welding system using a variable structure model reference scheme

Chien Yi Lee, Pi Cheng Tung, Kuo Kai Shyu, Cheng Yu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents an automatic welding control system for the alternating current shield metal arc welding process. A nominal nonlinear mathematical model containing uncertainties such as dead-zone, welding control system saturation, and the identified system parameters is derived. A novel variable structure model reference control scheme is designed to modulate the rate of the electrode feed mechanism, thereby regulating the arc current. The developed controller assures the global reaching condition of the sliding mode of the controlled welding system. In the sliding mode, the electric current error between the plant and the model asymptotically approaches zero. Moreover, the welding system remains insensitive to uncertainties and disturbance as the systems with friction. The simulation and experimental results confirm that the automatic welding control system, based on the proposed model-following variable structure controller, successfully maintains the magnitude of the arc current at the desired value and preserves the stability of the arc length, thereby ensuring excellent welding performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-986
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Dead-zone
  • Shielded metal arc welding
  • Sliding surface
  • Variable structure model reference controller


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