Fraunhofer ILT and TRUMPF collaborate to Accelerate the Transfer of the Technology to Industry

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Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Above: Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen/Image Source: Fraunhofer ILT

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen revealed that it has signed a collaboration agreement with TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH from Ditzingen, to cooperate more closely in the field of Laser Material Deposition and accelerate the transfer of the technology to industry. Customers will benefit from a one-of-a-kind combination of world-class laser system technology and many years of application-specific process expertise.

Dr. Thomas Schopphoven shared that interested customers from industry frequently queried him and his team at Fraunhofer ILT asking guidance on increasing productivity in Laser Material Deposition, identifying the best materials for the manufacturing process and how fast can they coat with them, by interested customers from industry. To which Dr. Schopphoven answered, “Our core business is developing application-adapted processes and system technology components. The basis for this is our 30 years of experience in Laser Material Deposition – in applications we have developed for a wide variety of industries.”

During this time, Aachen scientists had a significant impact on technological development and established numerous trends. Extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition EHLA, for example, has won a number of awards and has been successfully implemented in the industrial setting numerous times.

Dr. Thomas Schopphoven added, “When we transfer our technologies to industrial applications, our customers are increasingly focusing on the questions of systems engineering implementation, especially with regard to the availability, stability and suitability of the components.”

Collaboration with TRUMPF

This is where TRUMPF, ILT’s partner with over 20 years of experience, comes in. TRUMPF has the necessary know-how in manufacturing robust, reliable, and highly productive machines for laser material processing in industrial series production as the world’s leading manufacturer of laser systems and components for Laser Material Deposition.

“Thanks to the close cooperation with Fraunhofer ILT, we can offer solutions for the entire production chain from a single source. By combining our system technology – optimised for industrial use – with processes adapted or specially developed for this purpose, we help customers all over the world benefit from these innovations.”

– Marco Göbel, industry manager at TRUMPF in Ditzingen

R&D on TRUMPF Laser Material Deposition Technology

mass 3D printing & Laser Material Deposition
Above: Equipped with Multiplate, the TruPrint 1000 3D printer’s recoater pushes the substrate plate into the overflow container after printing/Image Credit: TRUMPF

For process and application development in Aachen, TRUMPF provides the team at Fraunhofer ILT with state-of-the-art laser systems that have various optical systems and powder feed nozzles. “In this way, we research our processes directly on industrially relevant systems. This enables us to transfer our research into customer applications particularly efficiently”, shared Dr. Thomas Schopphoven, head of the Laser Material Deposition Competence Area at Fraunhofer ILT.

The plant will be installed at the beginning of this year and available for the first tests in the spring. Numerous promising applications are already in sight, such as the economical coating of passenger car brake discs or the wear and corrosion protection of hydraulic cylinders.

For the two partners, this is another important step in their long-standing collaboration. Plans are already underway to expand the cooperation between TRUMPF and Fraunhofer ILT in other areas of laser materials processing.

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