Innovation Awards Laser Technology 2020, 2022 presented
Primes and Trumpf teams win €10.000 each
The Innovation Award for Laser Technology is presented every two years to laser manufacturers and users as well as researchers and developers who have spearheaded a laser technology innovation from application-oriented research to successful industrial implementation. The organizers are the Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik AKL eV, a network of around 180 laser experts, and the European Laser Institute ELI eV, a platform that brings together expertise and knowledge of optical technologies.
Dr Alexander Olowinsky, chairman of the board of the European Laser Institute ELI eV, and Ulrich Berners, chairman of the board of AKL eV, describe the context of the award: “With the presentation of the Innovation Award for Laser Technology, we want to honour precisely those innovators who have spearheaded an invention in the field of production-oriented laser technology from research through development to market launch.” The award-winning projects were met with enthusiasm: “Each of the finalist teams has made a significant contribution to the advancement of science and technology through their innovative achievements.”
The topic of the 2020 award-winning project was ‘Active Speed Control – camera-based sensor system for closed-loop feed regulation in laser cutting’. At the heart of Active Speed Control, developed by Dr Boris Regaard and his team at Trumpf, Ditzingen, Germany, is a camera-based sensor system in the cutting head, whereby real-time image processing analyses the camera data. Based on the data analysis, the feed rate is constantly monitored for optimal results. This ensures maximum cutting speed and a more reliable process. The result is optimised productivity and less scrap and rework. The system has potential for controlling or monitoring other process parameters and is thus a milestone towards the development of a future, fully autonomous laser cutting machine.
The 2022 award-winning project is called ScanFieldMonitor (SFM). It was developed by Stefan Wolf, head of research and development at Primes, Pfungstadt, Germany, and his team as a tool for laser scanner characterization. The development was prompted by many new applications in the field of additive manufacturing and e-mobility. The patented measurement principle enables the measurement of laser beam parameters by scanning vectors. The resulting laser scanner characterization provides all geometric and laser-related parameters relevant for remote applications. In the same operation, beam position and movement of the laser scanner unit in the scan area are determined. The quality of the SFM’s measurement principle becomes apparent whenever the behavior of a dynamic laser plays a role.
Other finalists for 2020 and 2022 were
- the joint development by Blackbird Robotics and Scanlab, Puchheim, headed by Thibault Bautze-Scherff, entitled ‘Finally united: OCT-based process control and on-the-fly remote laser welding in one tool’,
- ‘Innovative surfaces using high-speed laser-biomimetics’ by Dr Tim Kunze, managing director of Fusion Bionic, Dresden, Germany, and his team,
- ‘New laser solution for defusing unexploded ordnance (UXO) by the use of a disposable 3D printed tool head’, was developed by Dr Oliver Meier, managing partner of Laser on Demand, Burgdorf, Germany, together with the Laser Zentrum Hannover and the explosive ordnance disposal service of the Hamburg Fire Department, and
- the neoMOS “Smart” laser system, developed by Dr Maik Frede of Neolase in Hannover, Germany, promising ‘unlimited flexibility for short pulse laser applications’.
The Innovation Award Laser Technology is a European research prize awarded biennially by the associations AKL and ELKI. The award can be conferred to an individual researcher or to an entire project group whose exceptional skills and dedicated work have led to an outstanding innovation in the field of laser technology. The scientific and technological projects must center on the use of laser light in materials processing or the methods of producing such light, and must furthermore be of demonstrable commercial value to industry. The presentation of the 2020 awards had to be postponed as the AKL Lasercongress had to be canceled due to Covid-19.
Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
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Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V.
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