8 January 2018

New solid-state lasers optimised for digitalised and connected manufacturing

The latest generation TruDisk lasers from TRUMPF have been optimised.  With built-in intelligence, they include optimum hardware features for a digitalised future and Industry 4.0.  “The new TruDisk is not just the smartest, most advanced generation of disk lasers we’ve ever developed, it’s also compact and energy efficient,” says Klaus Loeffler, Managing Director and Head of Sales at TRUMPF Lasertechnik GmbH.  “Combined with our Condition Based Services, the new TruDisk lasers are the perfect production tool for advanced Industry 4.0 production lines.”

Condition Based Services are modular components of TruConnect, the TRUMPF technology for connected manufacturing.  Increasing the availability and productivity of connected laser systems while identifying potential cost savings.

All-new control systems, diodes, and cooling technology

A critical part of the TruDisk beam source is the built-in control system known as ‘CPX’. The laser’s brain, where all the condition data and process parameters are collected. During processing, sensors measures multiple parameters, including the actual laser output at microsecond intervals, signal characteristics, the utilisation rate of the beam source and the condition of additional components.

The new generation TruDisk lasers also incorporate a new feature that significantly enhances the quality of the data obtained from readings.  Known as ‘Precision Time Protocol’, it synchronises all the sensors and produces them with an identical time stamp.  From this new development, TRUMPF is now planning to use ‘Condition Based Services’ in the future.

The services will 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 to prevent unscheduled downtime.

The second major improvement inside the new-generation TruDisk laser can be found in the new laser diodes. The new laser diodes are both compact and energy efficient which, at just 0.85 square meters, is currently the benchmark for multi-kilowatt high-power lasers.   Within this small space, the laser’s smart cooling system can be fed to temperatures of up to 26 degrees Celsius.  This eliminates the need for an external cooling unit in most cases.


Now even better

To boost the energy efficiency of the new TruDisk lasers, the lasers have been equipped with a new pulse function.  Making it possible to ramp the current of the pump diodes down to zero Amps even during short laser-off times between two processing steps. 

The lasers also come with a smart energy management system that switches the laser between different power-saving modes for each operation, reducing energy consumption to a minimum.  Additionally, the laser’s optics have been redesigned to ensure optimum use of the diode pump light.

The TRUMPF TruDisk laser has proven its worth thousands of times over in practical applications. Real-time power regulation ensures the power applied to the workpiece remains stable from one operation to the next and throughout the system’s entire service life. TruDisk technology is also built to withstand laser radiation reflected from the workpiece making it an extremely robust disk laser that is ideally suited to tough industrial environments.

Modular design makes it easy to upgrade the machines with individual components and functions at a later point in time allowing them to be optimised for a remarkable range of applications. From vehicle making, aerospace engineering, medical devices, and electronics through to the supply sector and heavy industry, the high beam quality of a TruDisk laser make it a reliable tool for joining, coating, additive manufacturing, hardening and cutting, with high quality and reproducibility.


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