Focus on Manufacturing:
Lasers in Industry 4.0
LASER World of PHOTONICS from June 24 to 27, 2019 in Munich nwill be comprehensively showcasing the dynamics driving the development nof modern laser production processes. The focus is on innovations by nsome 350 leading exhibitors, especially lasers and laser systems in nmanufacturing. Support program features such as the application panels nwill discuss the future of lasers in microelectronics and nelectro-mobility, as well as progress on Photonics 4.0. And, as a bonus,n the four-day LiM 2019-Lasers in Manufacturing at the World of Photonicsn Congress affords the opportunity for more in-depth consideration.nnnt
Nowadays, industrial processes move at the speed of light: nshipbuilding yards use lasers to cut and weld enormous steel structures nfor freighters and cruise ships. The weightless and contactless tool nthat is light is as widespread in the automotive, aeronautical and nmechanical engineering sectors as it is among manufacturers in the nplastics, glass and electronics industries. Because lasers in nsensor-monitored processes are precision-controllable, don't wear out nand have the added advantage of machining at the speed of light.
The range of industrial laser applications is constantly expanding. nThey cut, perforate, weld, solder, texture, harden or mark and code. Then expert panel on Photonics 4.0 instigated by SPECTARIS in the wings of nLASER World of PHOTONICS provides more in-depth information (June 27, n2019, 10:00 to 12:20 in the Photonics Forum in Hall A3).
No lasers, no electro-mobility
Laser systems also ensure nflexible production. This is becoming a central requirement, especially nin the transition toelectro-mobility. Initially, internal combustion engine and electric-drive vehicles nwill share the same production lines. Photonics is considered to be a nkey technology for electro-mobility-in the complex manufacturing nprocesses for high voltage batteries, electric motors and power nelectronics and in lightweight construction alike. Details will be nprovided by the Application Panel "No laser technology, no nelectro-mobility" (Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 15:00 to 17:20).
The next day of the trade fair will again commence with a discussionn on a future field of activity in which lasers play a key role: "Smart nProduction of Metallic Parts by Additive Manufacturing" (Wednesday, Junen 26, 10:00 to 12:20) is based on lasers making components out of metal nalloys in powder form and plastics. Without tools-and with previously nunimaginable design freedom.
Additive manufacturing is becoming an industrial process
3Dn printing is making enormous strides towards maturity. Both the powder nbed process and laser deposition welding are gaining ground: metal npowder in a protective gas is expelled from nozzles and fused with nsurfaces by laser-enabling worn and damaged areas on components to be nrepaired. This is complemented by preventive coating, which Trumpf has noptimized in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser nTechnology (ILT). Area coverage rates in excess of 250 square ncentimeters per minute enable layer thicknesses of between 10 and 300 nmicrometers to be achieved. Because a fine laser focus is all it takes, nthe process is also more energy efficient than previous coating nprocesses.
Nobel prize-winning technology: ultrashort-pulse laser
Ultrashort-pulsen laser (USPL) technology, awarded the 2018 Nobel prize for physics, is nrapidly breaking into industrial series production. Visitors to LASER nWorld of PHOTONICS will doubtless encounter it. Ranged alongside nspecific USPL solutions by international exhibitors are networks such asn the USPL innovation network by EurA AG, USPL conference organizers suchn as the Fraunhofer ILT and initiators of major research projects.
Including the Fraunhofer IOF, which is paving the way for a nmanufacturing technology revolution: Akin to the revolution spawned in nthe 1990s from the combination of glass fiber and solid-state lasers, noptical fibers are now to distribute the energy from USPL lasers, pavingn the way for completely new applications. The ideas behind it resulted nfrom direct dialogs with Nobel prizewinner Gérard Mourou. USPL ntechnology will also be the subject of one of the application panels in nJune, where experts will highlight the "Perspectives and challenges for napplications with ultrashort-pulse lasers" (June 24, 2019, 15:00 to n17:20).
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Messe München