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  • USP lasers with kW power are being developed in the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence CAPS for precise, scalable and digitally controllable material processing.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    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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  • With the "Laser-based Manufacturing" technology platform, experts from Fraunhofer ILT offer SMEs central access to numerous European specialist colleagues with years of experience. In the picture: Laser Material Deposition (LMD).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

    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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  • More flexible battery design with ultrafast laser ablation

    Press Release / September 08, 2020

    Fast, gentle and reliable:  The Fraunhofer ILT has come up with a process tailor-made to ablate anode material from very thin copper foils at up to 1760 mm³/min. It uses a powerful USP laser to expose surfaces for electrical contacts.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The ultrashort pulse (USP) laser has been known to shine whenever highly sensitive material needs to be machined quickly yet gently. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has investigated one such application that certainly looks to have a bright future: The Aachen-based researchers developed a quick, reliable and nondestructive method of ablating lithium-ion batteries’ anode material with an ultrashort pulsed laser beam. This ablation technique exposes electrical contact points called tabs.

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  • The partners involved in the ERDF-funded project ScanCut developed a laser-based method of helical cutting with a multi-beam module, paving the way for new solutions that can be used as an alternative to punching.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

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  • From May 4 to 6, 2022, the AKL – International Laser Technology Congress will once again take place in its usual form.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Owing to the progressing coronavirus pandemic, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has decided to cancel the International Laser Technology Congress AKL in 2020. The safety and health of our attendees, partners and employees has top priority for us. The next AKL will take place from May 4 to 6, 2022, thus maintaining its regular biennial rhythm. However, so that interested parties do not have to wait another two years for the live demonstrations in Europe's largest laser system park, which are firmly anchored in the AKL, Fraunhofer ILT intends to open its doors as early as this autumn and in 2021 for various planned symposia in Aachen – provided that the general conditions allow it again.

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  • JEC World 2020: laser processes for future composites

    Press Release / February 06, 2020

    Top hat profile with ribbing for crash tests (material combination: magnesium / PP GF30).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Experts in composites strive to develop and research special combinations of materials for lightweight construction and other innovative applications – results of their work will be on show at JEC World in Paris from March 3 to 5, 2020. As the world’s leading trade fair for the composites industry, JEC World offers comprehensive insights into the entire value chain of custom material manufacturing and processing. The Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be taking the opportunity to showcase laser-based processes for lightweight materials and hybrid joints.

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  • A carbon fiber preform drilled using a USP laser beam with a star-shaped cut-out and a perfectly proportioned metal insert.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) components are usually assembled using fasteners. These are typically glued into the CFRP component once it has been cured and drilled. The consortium behind the CarboLase project came up with a new method, using an ultrashort pulsed laser to drill the holes for the fasteners in the textile preform with micrometer-scale accuracy. Integrating the fasteners in these high-precision cut-outs before the CFRP component is cured saves time by shortening the production process. In 2019, the project team’s efforts were rewarded with the prestigious CAMX Award in the “Combined Strength” category.

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