Intelligent Laser Machining: Ultra-Short Pulse Laser Provides Solution for Small to Midsize Companies
Automatic selection of picosecond or femtosecond laser depending on the application and component material.
The demand for high-quality components in large quantities and the shift of value chains to regions with low production costs are putting competitive pressure on many manufacturing operations. Often the only way to absorb this is through faster manufacturing methods. This, however, requires modern technologies with a high degree of automation, which seem oversized for small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) in particular. Frequently the procurement costs are simply too high. GFH GmbH and neoLASE GmbH jointly developed a cost-effective, cross-industry solution under the EU subsidy program “Horizon 2020”: the “Smart Modular All-in-One Robust Laser Machining Tool”—SMAART—is a highly flexible, fully automated laser machining system that automatically switches between various process steps such as laser turning and fine texturing using an especially programmed, intelligent control unit. The system also covers a pulse range of 500 ps to 500 fs with no need for complex changeovers. This keeps the acquisition cost down and is intended to increase quantities and create jobs over the long term.
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