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  • In the “Joint Application Lab” of Hamamatsu and Fraunhofer ILT, manufacturing processes can be investigated using a scanner-based process head with an integrated high-power SLM.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Together with Hamamatsu, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen has set up an application lab for advanced laser material processing with ultrashort pulsed (USP) laser radiation. In Aachen, the partners jointly developed an industrial processing SLM-head that can use customized, dynamic beam shaping combined with large laser average output powers for a wide range of applications. The applied, new Spatial Light Modulator from Hamamatsu can be operated up to 150 watts of average output power.

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  • Virtual chain reactions - live, in color and in person / 2022

    Not without my AI

    Review AKL'22 / July 19, 2022

    High-productivity 3D printing has been made possible by using EHLA technology in a parallel kinematic system and in a modified 5-axis CNC prototype. With the parallel kinematics, for example, the first components made of 316L stainless steel could be printed quickly and reliably at 1.7 kg/h and at a feed rate of 40 m/min.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Many industries are ready to break new ground in production with lasers. To do this, users and suppliers must reconcile digitalization and sustainability, ecology and economy. As an important means to this end, lasers can be integrated into the emerging process chains so that they interact with the entire upstream and downstream processes, saving both time and money. The more than 520 participants at the AKL'22 International Laser Technology Congress in Aachen learned how the laser community is already proactively tackling these tasks.

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  • Copper is often used in electromobility, a material that can be processed at greater stability with blue or green lasers than with infrared lasers.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    After having to take a pandemic break of four years, the industrial laser technology community met at “AKL'22 – International Laser Technology Congress” in Aachen from May 4 to 6, 2022. The industry is doing well, and the biggest trend is the extensive digitalization of processes. At the same time, common beam sources are being pushed to ever new levels of peak performance. New to the conference program was the Quantum Technology & Photonics Forum, where major German companies presented an amazing range of topics.

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  • Taking the fight to microplastics with lasers

    Press Release / April 01, 2022

    59 million holes in the filter plate of the first laser-drilled filter for the filtration of microplastics from municipal wastewater.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Until now, wastewater treatment plants have not been able to sufficiently filter out tiny microplastics in wastewater, but this could soon change: The first laser-drilled microplastic filter is being tested in a wastewater treatment plant. It contains sheets with extremely small holes just 10 micrometers in diameter. The technology to efficiently drill millions of such holes was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, and now the institute’s engineers are scaling up ultrashort-pulse (USP) laser technology in the kW range. Visitors can learn more about the microplastic filter and ultrashort-pulse lasers at the Fraunhofer booth A6.441 at LASER World of PHOTONICS.

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  • A Defining Patent: 25 Years of Metallic 3D Laser Printing

    Press Release / November 15, 2021

    The inventors of the process, Wilhelm Meiners, Kurt Wissenbach and Andres Gasser, stand in front of a small transport trolley with the first LPBF machine.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    A drone hovers in the sky above the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen. It films 50 employees from the “Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF)” department from above as they stand together and form the number 25. The anniversary of the basic patent for LPBF marks an occasion for a video clip: 25 years ago, only one Fraunhofer ILT researcher was actively working on the project and the patent for metallic 3D laser printing was filed in 1996. “This is an auspicious occasion for a retrospective and outlook on our technology,” Jasmin Saewe says, pleased. She has been head of the LPBF competence area at Fraunhofer ILT for several months. Today, she is in charge of around 50 employees and students.

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  • The LASER World of PHOTONICS Industry Days took place from June 21 to 24, 2021. With this online event, Messe München – organizer of the world's largest trade show for applied laser technology and photonics – offered its community a high-quality program including market overviews, trend analyses and panel discussions. Industrial laser technology today and tomorrow was one focus of the program.

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  • Controlling 100 lasers automatically via the cloud

    Press Release / June 22, 2021

    Kubernetes can be used to control freely scalable production systems.
    © Dr. Martin Riedel / Internet of Production.

    In the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” (IoP), 200 scientists at RWTH Aachen University in cooperation with Fraunhofer ILT have set up a data center for controlling and monitoring industrial processes. The concept for this is based on a project for controlling laser systems developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and uses the open source software Kubernetes. A corresponding system has been running successfully at the institute for two years, and with it the institute can automatically and remotely install the software for new lasers in just a few minutes.

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  • Starting in summer 2021, laser processes for battery production will be investigated at Fraunhofer ILT in a dedicated battery center. In the picture: a roll-to-roll plant.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Ultrafast lasers have become a standard manufacturing tool for the display industry, with even more and even larger applications coming in the next few years. The technology and processes needed for these new applications were presented at the 6th “UKP-Workshop: Ultrafast Laser Technology”, held by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen on April 21 and 22, 2021. Their spectrum ranged from ultra-powerful beam sources to processes that can be used to enlarge the surface of a metal electrode, for the generation of hydrogen, a thousand times.

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  • A photonics network of pan-European scale will start in January 2021 as part of the EU Horizon 2020 program: The project „Photonics Digital Innovation Hub“– PhotonHub Europe for short – is designed to make small and medium-sized European companies fit for the future by supporting them in the use of photonic technologies. The „PhotonHub Europe“ expects more than 1000 new high-tech jobs and around one billion euros in sales by 2025. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT coordinates one of the eight technology platforms. With its focus on laser-based production, this platform plays an important role in European photonics.

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  • Stifterverband Prize for Multi-beam Laser Processing

    Press Release / October 09, 2020

    Large-format (1 m x 1.5 m) embossing plate produced with the new multi-beam engraving system.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The ultra-short pulse laser is seeing ever wider acceptance among industrial users as a tool for precision manufacturing. In particular, these advances are due to new developments or technological progress in system technology, which increase productivity considerably. Increasing productivity significantly was also the goal of a team from industry and research, which was awarded the Science Prize of the Stifterverband for Collaborative Research at the annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on October 9. The team has developed a technology in which a laser beam is split into up to 16 partial beams. That means there are 16 tools controlled in parallel and individually to produce functional surfaces.

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