The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), Aachen, Germany, and Trumpf, Ditzingen, Germany, have signed a cooperation agreement to collaborate more closely in the field of Laser Material Deposition (LMD), a form of laser-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED), and accelerate the transfer of the technology to industry.
“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,” stated Dr Thomas Schopphoven, head of the Laser Material Deposition Competence Area at Fraunhofer ILT.
These are reportedly the standard questions that Dr Thomas Schopphoven and his team at Fraunhofer ILT are asked by interested customers from the industry. This is where the cooperation with Trumpf will come into play, due to the company’s experience in LMD machines.
Marco Göbel, industry manager at Trumpf, commented, “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.”
For process and application development in Aachen, Trumpf will provide the Fraunhofer ILT team with state-of-the-art laser-based AM machines 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,” added Dr Schopphoven.
The technology will be installed at the beginning of this year and available for the first tests in the spring. Numerous promising applications are already said to be in sight, such as the economical coating of passenger car brake discs or the wear and corrosion protection of hydraulic cylinders.