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Integrated laser cell for combined laser cladding and milling

: Nowotny, S.; Muenster, R.; Scharek, S.; Beyer, E.


Assembly automation 30 (2010), No.1, pp.36-38
ISSN: 0144-5154
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()
laser; cladding; process management; machine tool

Purpose Laser materials processing system technology has become indispensible to the tool and die manufacturing industries and for repairing engines and turbines. The laser build-up welding process especially is now a standard technology where cost efficient, precisely localized and near net shape repair welds are required. The concept of integrating the modular laser components into standard machine tools makes the technology easily accessible to the user and very efficiently combines build-up welding and metal-cutting processes. Design/methodology/approach Specially designed laser system technology is available as add-on kits for different machine tools of the end-users. They can choose from a large variety of laser sources, manufacturing heads, welding material supply as well as process control devices. User-friendly software guides through the entire process chain. So, optimized laser systems for different cladding and build-up applications can be installed easily and inexpensively in common turning and milling machines. Findings The laser integration into machine tools connects efficiently laser and mechanical finish operations. This way, repairs, rapid design changes, and direct manufacturing of parts are available with a high level of accuracy and in very short times. Additionally, exactly specified property profiles can be realized. Originality/value The laser application shown here represents a new technical solution of laser integration into machine tools, which offers an efficient complete machining. It allows to quickly switch between milling and laser processing, which simplifies the combination of both processes. The computer numerical controlled process control treats the laser head just like a milling tool. This shortens the machining time and expands the capability of the machine with respect to generating multiple shapes.