Materials Frontiers 2024 ISSUE 12 (Total ISSUE 80)
June 18, 2024 10:00 ~ 11:00 Meeting Room 308 Xu Zuyao Building

UOW research in automated offline programming for welding robot


Guest Speaker Prof. Zengxi Pan ,University of Wollongong, Australia


Inviter: Assoc.Prof. Chen Shen


Date&Time: Tuesday, 18. June. 9:00-10:00


Venue: Meeting Room 308 , Xu Zuyao Building



Prof. Zengxi Pan is internationally renowned for his research in industrial robotics, offline programming, and Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). With a strong track record of over 170 publications in refereed journals and international conferences, he is considered a pioneer and one of the most published and cited researchers in WAAM, boasting over 9,000 Scopus citations and an H-index of 48.

Prof. Pan has extensive experience in industrial research projects. Over the past 15 years, he has led 13 industry-funded DMTC and CRC research projects, with a total value exceeding AUD 4.8 million. His project team has received notable prizes, including the National Innovation Award at the Pacific Maritime Exposition in 2015 and the Australian Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia in 2013

The projects under his leadership have significantly impacted the Australian Defence Industry and Australian Manufacturing industry, with two great commercial successes. (i) The Automated Offline Programming (AOLP) technology resulted in the start- up of an innovative company, Verbotics Pty Ltd, supported by UOW's Accelerate and has been commercially functioning since 2018. (ii) The programming strategies for WAAM process has also provided the foundation for a start-up company AML3D Pty Ltd through the project. In April 2020, it became the first ASX-listed company in WAAM fabrication and equipment supply.

In 2014, he pioneered the research on WAAM, innovative manufacturing technology for fabricating medium-to-large-sized metal components in many industries. His primary contribution to WAAM lies in two areas: WAAM process modelling, planning, optimisation and In-situ alloying and gradient material development. More recently, he has developed various Industry 4.0 technologies, including machine learning, smart sensors, and advanced control and simulation, towards a fully intelligent digital twin for the WAAM process.

Prof. Pan has extensive connections within both the industry and research communities. He has served as the Australian Delegate to International Institute of Welding (IIW) since 2013. He chairs IIW technical commission XII A: Sensor and Control for Arc Welding processes and production systems. He is also a committee member of Standards Australia, specifically involving ME-095 Smart Manufacturing.

Prof. Pan has been actively involved in organising multiple international conferences, including RWIA/CCRW since 2018, IEEE ROBIO since 2016, IEEE CYBER since 2017. He has delivered 14 Keynote speeches at various international conferences since 2014. Additionally, he serves as an associate editor for IEEE robotics and automation letter, IIW Welding in the World journal and Journal of Manufacturing Process.



This presentation introduces 15 years of robotic welding programming experience at the University of Wollongong (UOW) with case studies and examples. Key research achievement—automated offline programming was developed to address the programming overhead for SMEs for small volume/one-off fabrication. The research eventually being commercialized as Verbotics Welds software.