Modern automobiles have to satisfy the latest crash test standards. One way to achieve this is using high tensile strength steels in the passenger compartment. Laser technology is used throughout the press hardening process, due to its versatility in multiple applications.
One of the new trends in hot forming is the use of tailor welded blanks to further reduce weight or the combination of different material properties in one blank. AlSi coated material is the most widely used. The aluminum content of the coating poses challenges to welding so laser ablation, with the use of ultra-short pulsed lasers, improves the weldability of these blanks.
A reduction in 3D laser cutting combined with the higher performance of laser processing centers leads to shorter cycle times and loading/unloading parts to match the productivity of the machines. With shorter processing times, the need for laser machines with automation to continuously feed parts continues to grow.
With the increase of hot formed parts in car models, Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs are challenged to gain additional flexibility in the production process without giving up efficiency or increasing the cost per part. Laser technology offers the desired flexibility by taking into account processing costs and production capacities. Learn more about the newest laser applications in the production chain of hot forming.
Johannes Buehrle, MBA, Dipl.Ing., studied production technologies and business administration. In 2003 he joined TRUMPF as a Sales Manager for laser technology in the Spanish market. From 2004 to 2011 he became Head of the Laser Division Department at TRUMPF Spain and National Key-Account Manager for automotive customers and applications. Since September 2011 he is Automotive Industry Manager at TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH in Ditzingen where he is responsible for laser applications in the hotforming market and is Global Key-Account-Manager for a Tier 1 supplier.
Michael Fritz joined TRUMPF in 2000 as Product Manager for Laser Systems in Michigan. In 2007, he became a Regional Sales Manager and assumed responsibility for sales of laser technology in the Canadian Market. Since 2010 he has worked at TRUMPF’s automotive group based in Germany, where is responsible for the hot stamping market and serves as Global Key Account Manager for Tier 1 suppliers.
The TRUMPF Group ranks among the leading manufacturing companies worldwide. In the field of industrial lasers and laser systems, the company is the technological leader in the world market. With about 60 subsidiaries and branch offices, the Group is represented in almost every European country, in North and South America as well as in Asia. Production locations can be found in Germany, Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland, Singapore and the USA. As the world’s leading provider of laser manufacturing technology, TRUMPF is the one-stop shop for all auto manufacturers and suppliers seeking cost-efficient, high-speed, top-quality solutions for their production requirements: starting with laser systems and extending through beam sources, beam guidance, optics and numerical control, to all inclusive service and support.