TWI is working alongside a number of project partners as part of the Factories of the Future public-private partnership to develop a highly flexible, modular, re-configurable Laser Process Head capable of covering welding, cladding and cutting.
ModuLase - combining laser processes for the future of manufacturing
The ModuLase project aims to reduce costs, increase production speed and offer additional flexibility without compromising quality through the development of a modular processing head system alongside intelligent sensor technologies for in-process monitoring.
Rather than taking time to change processing heads for different additive manufacturing and other laser-based manufacturing applications, ModuLase will offer a complete solution with a changeover time of less than one minute between processes.
The system will use a Beam Forming Unit (BFU) suitable for different processes with three end-effectors to provide the required functionalities. The end-effectors will include intelligent sensor technologies for in-process monitoring and control while an intelligent software system allows for the automatic reconfiguration of the process head and semi-automated process optimisation through a user-friendly interface.
The Modulase project will also develop welding, cladding and cutting process knowledge for the target markets. Supplementing existing knowledge with that developed within ModuLase will maximise the potential for material processing and facilitate non-expert industrial adoption.
Technology and knowledge transfer are also important aspects of the project, aiding collaboration with EU SMEs and large industries to enable the rapid deployment and commercialisation of the new technology. With ModuLase set to be compatible with existing and future fibre-delivered laser process systems, the project will deliver solutions to the aerospace, power and automotive industries.
TWI’s ModuLase project partners are QSYS (Netherland), ULO (United Kingdom), AIMEN (Spain), EWF (Belgium), CRF (Italy), SODECIA (Germany) and GEL (United Kingdom).
The ModuLase project has received funding by the Photonics and Factories of the Future (FoF) Public Private Partnership (PPP), under grant agreement No. H2020–FoF-2016-723945-ModuLase. The project is an initiative of the Photonics and Factories of the Future Public Private Partnership.
TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation with a focus on materials, engineering and manufacturing.