Lasers support digital manufacturing

Posted on 13 Feb 2018 and read 505 times
Lasers support digital manufacturingThe latest generation of TruDisk lasers from Luton-based Trumpf Ltd ( offers built-in intelligence to perform condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and trend analysis — all of which support the implementation of lasers in digital and connected manufacturing environments.

At the hub of the TruDisk beam source is the built-in control system known as CPX. This is the laser’s brain, where all of the condition data and process parameters are collected.

During processing, sensors measure multiple parameters, including the actual laser output (at microsecond intervals), all internal and external signal characteristics, the utilisation rate of the beam source, and the condition of additional components.

TruDisk lasers also incorporate a new feature that enhances the quality of data obtained from the readings. Known as ‘precision time protocol’, this synchronises the sensors and gives them an identical time stamp.

The new lasers can be combined with Trumpf’s condition-based services (modular components of TruConnect, the company’s technology for connected manufacturing), which increase the availability and productivity of connected systems while identifying potential cost savings.

With the customer’s prior approval, these services can be used to analyse data parameters, carry out algorithm-based trend analysis and take targeted measures to determine the risk of potential laser failure in advance.

Another improvement can be found in Trumpf’s new laser diodes, which are particularly energy-efficient to help minimise running costs.

Furthermore, Trumpf has equipped the latest TruDisk lasers with a pulse function that makes it possible to ramp the current of the pump diodes down to zero amps — even during the very short laser-off times between processing steps.

A smart energy-management system is used to switch the laser between different power-saving modes for each operation.

The new generation of TruDisk lasers is available for laser outputs of 3-5kW, with fibre core diameters between 100 and 600µm. Additional models are currently being developed.

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