Fraunhofer ILT and Trumpf to collaborate on LMD industrialisation

Fraunhofer ILT and Trumpf have agreed to collaborate on accelerating the transfer of laser material deposition (LMD) to industry.

The Aachen-based institute’s process and application development will be aided by Trumpf through the supply of laser systems with varying optical systems and powder feed nozzles.

‘In this way, we research our processes directly on industrially relevant systems,’ said Dr Thomas Schopphoven, head of the Laser Material Deposition Competence Area at Fraunhofer ILT. ‘This enables us to transfer our research into customer applications particularly efficiently.’

He explained that when the institute transfers its technologies to industrial applications, its customers are increasingly focusing on questions regarding systems engineering implementation, especially with regard to the availability, stability and suitability of the components. This is where Trumpf will come in as a partner with the necessary know-how in manufacturing robust, reliable and highly productive machines for laser material processing in industrial series production.

For Marco Göbel, industry manager at Trumpf in Ditzingen, the cooperation is a win-win situation for customers: 'Thanks to the close cooperation with Fraunhofer ILT, we can offer solutions for the entire production chain from a single source. By combining our system technology – optimised for industrial use – with processes adapted or specially developed for this purpose, we help customers all over the world benefit from these innovations.'

Trumpf’s technology will be installed at Fraunhofer ILT at the beginning of this year and will be available for the first tests in the spring. Numerous promising applications are already in sight, such as the economical coating of passenger car brake discs or the wear and corrosion protection of hydraulic cylinders.

For the two partners, this is another important step in their long-standing collaboration. Plans are already underway to expand the cooperation between Trumpf and Fraunhofer ILT in other areas of laser materials processing.