Laser technology up to high quality standards

Press release (Nr. V) / 19.3.2009

The combination of laser technology with classical manufacturing processes in one machine or production line - that is a central goal of the research work at Fraunhofer IWS Dresden. This approach is increasingly valid also for technologies like laser hardening and laser cladding. The system technology, therefore developed by IWS, offers high productivity together with ease of use, good automation, a quality securing process control, robustness and user-friendliness. It has already proved an optimal performance in numerous industrial applications.

© Photo Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

In order to generate by laser variably adjustable radiation mark widths with given radiation mark lengths and, at the same time, to optimize the intensity distribution according to component parameters, the Fraunhofer IWS Dresden has developed the dynamic beam shaping system "LASSY" for the industrial use of high speed diode lasers. A linear scanner with variable control enables a large diversity of intensity profiles with variable hardening track width. The system is supplemented with a camera-based temperature measuring instrument "E-MAqS". Thus, laser-based hardening processes with constant surface temperatures can be reliably performed. In addition, the combination with the temperature monitoring system "LompocPro" enables the process control and backup of process data for quality documentation.

Originally developed for laser hardening, the measuring and monitoring system for temperature control has been further optimized in close co-operation with the industry. The new system is characterized by extremely fast response times and a clearly lower temperature range. Since 2008 these systems have been integrated into commercial laser soldering plants and used in industrial mass production. With these plants both standard and rear contact solar cells can be soldered at high quality with cycle times of 3 to 4 seconds for each cell.

Precise, functional surface coatings as well as fast repair of components form the most impor-tant application fields of laser cladding. With modern laser beam sources as well as user-friendly optics, processing heads and software systems the process could establish itself as a precision technology in tool and mold construction as well as in the repair of engines and turbines. With the COAX processing heads for continuous powder or wire feeding, developed at Fraun-hofer IWS Dresden, as well as the software package DCAM for efficient off-line programming users are provided with mature tools for the practice of laser cladding. In the years 2000 - 2008, more than 70 of these systems world-wide have found their way into industrial production or research.

By integration of laser hardening or cladding into the process chain production costs can be lowered and production flows tightened. The laser technology integration can be effected in very different ways and depends on the process requirements and the basic conditions. Fraun-hofer IWS provides the industry with the conception, design and implementing of the necessary.

You are cordially invited to the press conference, taking place June 16, 2009, 11 a.m. at the Fraunhofer Pavilion Production Technology (Hall C2, Stand 350).