Meta was formed in 1984 as a spin out from an engineering research project at the world famous Oxford University. The original project was aimed at developing laser sensor guided robot welding. This work was described in the original Meta patent.
One early success was a large project to develop sensor guided adaptive multipass robotic FCAW for a number of welding systems for Caterpillar, USA. These systems were in production for nearly twenty years. These systems were described in a widely referenced article (Beattie, RJ, Cheng, SK and Logue, PS, “The Use of Vision Sensors in Multipass Welding Applications”, pp 28-33, The Welding Journal 67(11), November 1988). Meta was the first company to apply adaptive welding techniques successfully in industry.
Another early success was a welding cell for rocket nozzles for the European Ariane space programme. Much later Meta provided further systems for the Ariane programme, which can be seen as a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEi-Y_lo9xY, as well as a number of systems for the Chinese space rocket engine programme.
Later, Meta also became heavily involved in pipe mill welding, providing hundreds of laser sensor system and even complete mill control systems. Meta is widely acknowledged to be the world leader in providing laser sensors for pipe welding and similar applications.
Meta has also been very successful in multipass welding with its unique scanning spot laser sensor. This has been applied to many heavy industrial applications such as nuclear vessel and rotor welding, monopiles for offshore wind towers, earthquake proof beams, etc. Meta’s DLS and SLS sensors are used regularly by many world leading welding system integrators, including Amet, Deuma, HWI, Lincoln Electric, Pemamek and SteelMec. The Amet tandem NGSAW system with the Meta DLS sensor was featured as the cover article in another Welding Journal paper (Schwemmer, D; Beattie, B and Wahlen, P, “Advanced Technologies for Tandem SAW Narrow Groove Applications”, pp 32-37, The Welding Journal 90(11), November 2011).
Overall, Meta has now provided over 3,000 laser sensors and continues to develop new and improved solutions for all common arc welding applications. From its early days with just a few people, Meta has grown to over 40 people from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds.