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Laser technologies in car body tool manufacturing

: Kühn, Stefan; Bonß, Steffen; Hannweber, Jan; Karsunke, Udo; Pögen, Dirk; Brenner, Berndt; Beyer, Eckhard

Japan Laser Processing Society -JLPS-:
LAMP 2013, 6th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing : LPM 2013, the 14th International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication; HPL 2013, the 6th International Symposium on High Power Laser Processing; Niigata, July 23 -26th, 2013; Congress program & technical digest
Tokyo: Sumitomo, 2013
Paper A138, 5 pp.
International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing (LAMP) <6, 2013, Niigata>
International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication (LPM) <14, 2013, Niigata>
International Symposium on High Power Laser Processing (HPL) <6, 2013, Niigata>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWS ()
hardening; cladding; laser heat treatment; high power diode laser; car body tool

High strength steel materials, coated sheet metals and other metallic materials for manufacturing car bodies require an advanced quality of the cutting tools and deep drawing dies. Laser beam hardening has been established as the standard technology for increasing strength and lifetime of cutting edges and deep drawing tools. Laser cladding can be applied advantageously as a repair technology for tools. But more important is the application as »negative milling«-technology for fast design changes during the fitting loops of the tools. Once made at external specialists these technologies are getting integrated in manufacturing lines of tool makers. Fraunhofer IWS developed systems and components for applying these technologies. Automated processing supported by measuring and control systems reduce existing application barriers at operators who are well skilled in mechanical treatment but less experienced with heat treatment and cladding. Since laser beam hardening and cladding is frequently necessary in the same line machine costs can be reduced if both processes share a laser. The optimum beam quality for both processes is quite similar and can be delivered by modern fiber coupled high power diode lasers. Since the precision demands a rather moderate articulated robots can be used as machine system. They can get extended by linear axis or turning tables for achieving a larger field of operation. Fraunhofer IWS has developed laser process modules which can be adapted to a robot hand via robotic tool changers. With a simple subroutine a laser hardening machine can get transferred into a laser cladding machine and reverse. Each process module is connected to a separate laser fiber and via bus communication all subsystems interchange necessary information. That development has been supported by important customers like Audi and Volkswagen what are the first users of those process modules.