German sheet metalworking machine tool and laser maker Trumpf has invested nearly 30 million euro in new solid-state laser development and production facilities in Schramberg, Germany, where Trumpf Laser GmbH is already located.
“The trend towards using solid-state lasers in industrial production shows no signs of stopping. Schramberg is the cradle of the laser industry in Germany and a global forerunner when it comes to solid-state lasers. Our investments will create the conditions necessary for the laser to continue along a course of successful development,” said Peter Leibinger, vice chairman of the managing board of Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG and chairman of the Laser Technology Business Division.
“Given how the laser industry has been developing economically, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to create even more jobs at the Schramberg site in the years to come.”
As one of the world’s largest machine tool making concerns, €2.72 billion turnover Trumpf already employs 11,000 employees worldwide. Its UK facility is in Luton.
The new Schramberg facility will offer 12 000m² of additional floor space and production there is due to begin by the end of 2017, while the existing development centre in Schramberg, inaugurated in 2013,will be expanded through an additional floor area of 1800m².
During the latest business year (2015/2016; 30 June year end), Trumpf reports that an average of 60% of its machine tools for cutting applications were equipped with solid-state lasers, with this proportion expected to rise to 70% in the next business year.
“Many industrial applications aren’t even possible without solid-state lasers. Microprocessing in particular is a field in which lasers are really tapping into new, fascinating possibilities. But solid-state lasers have also established themselves as reliable laser beam sources in high power applications such as automobile manufacturing and ship building,” said Leibinger.
Solid-state lasers have a smaller wavelength than CO2 lasers (around one tenth, depending on the active element), allowing them to be coupled into flexible fibre optics (laser light cables). Because of this, laser light is able to reach the workpiece easily and directly, making it much simpler to integrate solid-state lasers into production lines, says Trumpf. In contrast, because of CO2 lasers’ larger wavelength of 10 micron, sensitive mirror optics are required to guide the beam to the workpiece. A further advantage of the solid-state laser is its comparatively high overall efficiency, making it a much more economic option for manufacturers, the company adds.
The new facility has been designed by Berlin-based architectural firm Barkow Leibinger, which was also responsible for Trump’s laser machine tool factory in Ditzingen, Germany, and its new yet-to-be-built Industry 4.0 facility in Chicago, USA.
Trumpf achieves sales growth of 3%
At the end of fiscal year 2015/16 ending June 30th 2016, the Trumpf Group successfully registered a 3% increase in sales. According to preliminary calculations, the figure amounts to €2.8 billion (previous year: €2.7 billion). The order intake, at €2.8 billion lay roughly at the level of the previous year.
For more information contact Retecon Machine Tools on TEL: 011 976 8600 or visit www.retecon.co.za