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.


EMEC Machine Tools showcases technologies at open house

EMEC Machine Tools held a two-day open house May 1 and 2 at its Mississauga, ON, facility to showcase multiple machines under power, including the Genos M460V-5AX equipped with Esprit CAM software for five axis machining.

Going modular with lasers

Mazak Optonics’ patented flexible laser manufacturing system has gone modular.

Renishaw's additive machine for industrial use

Renishaw is in the midst of developing an additive manufacturing machine designed for production machining environments.

Quebec welding students receive awards

Twelve students enrolled at the Western Quebec Career Centre, a vocational school in Gatineau, QC, have received awards from the Canadian Welding Association Foundation.

Bystronic adds 15kW fiber option

Bystronic’s new 15kW fiber for Bystar Fiber 3015 and 4020 improves speed, precision and flexibility for sheet metal processors.

André Belisle joins Bystronic as direct sales engineer

Bystronic Canada has added André Belisle to its Canadian division as direct sales engineer.

$480 M Siemens software grant to McMaster University

Students enrolled in design and manufacturing programs at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, now have the ability to use the same technology that businesses around the world use thanks to a $458 million software grant from Siemens Canada.

Sandvik Coromant opens new headquarters in US

Sandvik Coromant has opened its new US headquarters at its existing location in Mebane, North Carolina.

Hurco files patent on 3D adapter for CNC milling machine

Hurco is the latest company in the metalworking industry to get into the additive manufacturing business. On July 15, the company filed a US patent application for a new technology that will convert a CNC milling machine into a 3D printer for additvie manufacturing applications.

Translas opens Canadian division

Translas has launched a Canadian division.

Fabricating Tech Tips: Press feeding basics

by Matt Trethewey & John Kwiatkowski 

Tips on how to avoid short feeds

Canadian employment continues to climb: Stats Can

Canadian employment rose for the second consecutive month, up 43,000 in October, pushing the unemployment rate down to 0.3 percentage points to 6.5 per cent, the lowest rate since November 2008, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

Upwards growth for US manufacturing good for Canada

US manufacturing technology orders (USMTO) continued to expand in July, up 23 per cent from July 2016. The positive news follows recent data from Canada that continues to see upwards growth in this country two. Together, these actitivites are good indicators that 2018 promises to be a better year for manufacturing in North America.

Event promotes advanced manufacturing

Canadian manufacturers have the potential to become world-class leaders in manufacturing if they implement leading edge technologies and digital tools that will enable them to compete effectively.

Automakers suspend all N.A. operations

In response to the ever deepening COVID-19 crisis, Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have suspended operations at all North American plants commencing March 19, 2020.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn