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About the Project


SMAART = Smart modular all-in-one robust laser machining tool

 

GFH GmbH/neoLASE: „The breakthrough laser machining intelligence as saver of jobs and competitiveness for Europe's manufacturing business”

Project name: SMAART

Partners: GFH GmbH & Neolase

Grant Agreement Number: 830296

Project start: 01.12.2018

End of the project: 30.11.2020

Project duration: 24 months

EU-Programm: Horizon2020 / SME Instrument Phase 2

 

 

Abstract SMAART Project


Project overview

 

EUR 9.01 trillion – this is the shockingly high amount of added value in manufacturing, which drained off from Europe to other world regions (particularly to regions with low production factor costs like Asia) in the last years. The reason for this can be mainly seen in cost differences of production factors. To retrieve added value to Europe, particularly manufacturing and machining processes have to be improved to greater efficiency. Driven by the vision of Smart Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0, the European Commission therefore starts a lot of initiatives, like the Digital Single Market in 2016. The EC expects that digitisation of products and services can add more than EUR 110 billion of annual revenue in Europe in the next five years.

A technology predestined for making machining more efficient and for implementing Industry 4.0 in manufacturing is the laser technology offering contactless and flexible processing. The next level of laser machining based on ultrashort laser pulses resulting in high precision never existed before. Up to now, existing laser machining systems are fixed to only one incorporated laser and therefore limited in parameters and application. This results in the need of having many different laser systems for different applications and in long retooling and adjustment times.

For the broad introduction of advanced laser machining in Europe’s manufacturing industry, neoLASE and GFH GmbH will during this project integrate the prototype of unique laser amplifier technology in a modular, self-adjusting and self-intelligent laser machining system to reach the next level of manufacturing. This system incorporates several seed lasers and optics, all combinable by the amplifier technology, and therefore has the functionalities of many laser systems in only one machine. This meets the actual needs for high precision and economic production.

EUR 9.01 trillion – this is the shockingly high amount of added value in manufacturing, which drained off from Europe to other world regions (particularly to regions with low production factor costs like Asia) in the last years. The reason for this can be mainly seen in cost differences of production factors. To retrieve added value to Europe, particularly manufacturing and machining processes have to be improved to greater efficiency. Driven by the vision of Smart Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0, the European Commission therefore starts a lot of initiatives, like the Digital Single Market in 2016. The EC expects that digitisation of products and services can add more than EUR 110 billion of annual revenue in Europe in the next five years.

A technology predestined for making machining more efficient and for implementing Industry 4.0 in manufacturing is the laser technology offering contactless and flexible processing. The next level of laser machining based on ultrashort laser pulses resulting in high precision never existed before. Up to now, existing laser machining systems are fixed to only one incorporated laser and therefore limited in parameters and application. This results in the need of having many different laser systems for different applications and in long retooling and adjustment times.

For the broad introduction of advanced laser machining in Europe’s manufacturing industry, neoLASE and GFH GmbH will during this project integrate the prototype of unique laser amplifier technology in a modular, self-adjusting and self-intelligent laser machining system to reach the next level of manufacturing. This system incorporates several seed lasers and optics, all combinable by the amplifier technology, and therefore has the functionalities of many laser systems in only one machine. This meets the actual needs for high precision and economic production.

 

 

9 projects in Germany


 

Statistics

 

1658 submitted projects from Europe, 125 of them from Germany

129 projects invited to the interview, 15 of them from Germany

63 granted projects, including 9 german projects

 

 

Project results


 

A market-ready fully automated, easy-to-use, and multi-applicable laser machining system with the following features and parameters

 

Modular architecture with several seed sources with different ultrashort pulse durations between 500fs and 500ps, beam forming elements, optics, workpiece handling instruments

Repetition rates between single shot and several MHz

Pulse energies up to 400 μJ

Typical wavelength of 1030 nm and Spectral linewidth 0.1 - 3 nm

Beam quality TEMοο with M2 < 1.3

Starting application database of 100 different machining processes allowing drilling, cutting, structuring, and ablating of metal, ceramic, glass and polymers

Full automation of retooling and adjusting (within 1 min)

Online quality control for sample analysis during or immediately after sample processing.