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This article provides an overview of the methods used to control aspects of the arc welding process and research associated with the development of closed-loop feedback control of the process. Successful implementation of a closed-loop feedback control system requires sensing, modeling, and control. The article describes the commonly applied sensing techniques for arc welding control: arc sensing and nonimaging and imaging optics. It reviews the physics-based, empirically-derived, and neural network models for arc welding control. The article also discusses the research and development activities that attempt to extend the commercial, welding process controllers, namely, adaptive control, intelligent control, multivariable control, and distributed, hierarchical control.

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