TRUMPF pulse lasersClick image to enlarge

TRUMPF, Bosch and the University of Jena have won the German Future Prize for their work on ultra-short pulse lasers for industrial production.

Researchers from the three organizations have established ultra-short pulse lasers as a new tool for industrial production. The ultrashort pulse laser, which emits up to 24,000 pulses of incredibly high energy in a fraction of a second, processes almost any material gently, precisely and with high productivity. It drills ultrafine holes in metal, cuts medical stents from tiny polymer tubes, shatterproof touch screens for Smartphone displays, structures the surfaces of thin-film solar cells, and can also cut through ultrathin plastic foil, brittle ceramic components and diamonds.

(From left) Dr. Jens König, Prof. Stefan Nolte and Dr. Dirk Sutter have developed ultrashort laser pulses from basic research into a new tool for industrial mass production.  Click image to enlarge

"With the ultra-short pulse laser we've opened a door into a new realm – and we won't know its precise size or full details about it for a very long time," says Dr. Peter Leibinger, vice chairman of TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG and president of the Laser Technology and Electronics Division. "That is why micro-processing using lasers like these is a production technology of the future – and German companies are the world leaders here. We regard the award of the German Future Prize as reflecting the industrial and political relevance of our joint innovations, which is why we're very proud to receive it," he adds.

The German President gave the ultrashort pulse laser its award in a decisive phase. The technology has long proven its industrial suitability in three-shift operations across wide variety applications with constant quality and precision. At this point, the technology is entering new sectors of mass production and replacing conventional methods such as mechanical drilling, eroding or chemical etching. Entirely new products that were impossible to make previously can now be manufactured using the ultrashort pulse laser.

"It is expected that the production figures will continue to rise steeply in the future, since the technology offers great advantages for numerous fields of application," says prize winner Dr. Dirk Sutter, responsible for ultra-short pulse laser research and development at TRUMPF Laser GmbH + Co. KG in Schramberg, Germany. The process is unique in that that there is no heat transferred to the material and no residue after processing. This is because the ultrashort pulse only heats the material locally, and so intensely that it is ejected and vaporized before the heat can be transferred. This enables areas just a few micrometers in diameter to be ablated–with no melt residue, no heat-affected zone and, consequently, no need for refinishing.

The next generation of ultra-short pulse lasers is already being produced at TRUMPF.


Mitsubishi EDM, Matsuura partner on 3D manufacturing

MC Machinery Systems Inc., Wood Dale, IL, owned by Mitsubishi Corp., is partnering with machine tool builder Matsuura Machinery Corp., Fukui City, Japan, to introduce a 3D hybrid milling machine to the North American market (Canada and the US).

Montreal's TechFab joins Komet network

TechFab, Montreal, QC, is the second Canadian partner to join Komet Service, a network Komet created that consists of specialists in the fabrication and refurbishment of solid carbide tools who adhere to Komwr processes and quality standards to provide customers superior tooling for their applications. 

Structural Superstar

Article by Kip Hanson

Photos by David Afriat

A few key pieces of metalworking equipment can open big doors for a fabricator

Canada's Bedrock: Job Shops Report

by Mary Scianna

Job shops are Canada’s manufacturing stronghold

Trump tariffs tipping us toward a recession: Linamar CEO

In an opinion piece featured in the Globe and Mail, Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz warns that US President Donald Trump’s newly levied tariffs on Canadian goods coming into the country could have a catastrophic economic impact.

Nesting on the Fly

by Noelle Stapinsky

 How nesting software is keeping pace with industry needs 

Lockheed Martin Canada opens doors to innovation centre

Lockheed Martin Canada has opened the doors to its IMPACT Centre in Ottawa, an innovative demonstration centre that aims to bring industry and academia together for critical research, development and advancement of technology.

New class of plasma for mild steel, stainless and aluminum

Hypertherm has launched its lasted development in mechanized plasma cutting with a new class of plasma called X-Definition. This new plasma is available for the first time in a 300 amp plasma system called the XPR300.

Hole in One

by Mary Scianna

Steps to ensure holemaking quality and accuracy

Western Canada easing out of economic doldrums: Report

Alberta and Saskatchewan expected to grow, albeit at a slow pace in 2017; Quebec seeing economic momentum

Turning machine investments for better training

Loyalist manufacturing program coordinator John Poste estimates that students receive approximately 25 per cent in-class theory and 75 per cent in-shop training.

Mazak smart factory concept exceeds ISO standards

The recent ISO recertification of Mazak Corp.'s Florence, KY, manufacturing operations, comes on the heels of the company's adoption of a new manufacturing concept it calls "iSMART Factory."

Welding foundation holds educational event for students

The Canadian Welding Association Foundation, formed last year to promote education in welding, held a week-long welding event for students in southwestern Ontario.

Welding camp for students in Newfoundland and Labrador

The CWA Foundation has introduced students in Newfoundland and Labrador to the welding profession by funding a Mind Over Metal welding camp in the province.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn