Multifunctional laser processing with a digital twin
Multifunctional laser technology integrates different laser processes in one manufacturing cell to meet the demand for agile production technology. A processing head was developed and put into operation mastering cutting, joining and additive manufacturing steps without tool change. Parallel development of a digital twin of the entire system aims at the acceleration and optimization of the engineering of the robot cell up to its virtual commissioning. This approach enabled the first realization of a multifunctional laser robot cell and its digital twin. Virtual commissioning accelerated the design and optimization of mechanics and control as well as the programming of the production cell. The multifunctional approach saves numerous single production steps and, hence, leads to a significant shortening of manufacturing lines utilizing the full flexibility of the tool laser beam. Virtualization enables accelerated commissioning of the entire system, significantly reduced susceptibility to errors in production preparation and more efficient production planning.