Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

“AKL – International Laser Technology Congress.”

Aachen, Germany | May 4-6, 2022

Prof. Constantin Häfner, Director of Fraunhofer ILT, opened the AKL'22 – Technology Conference at the Eurogress on May 5, 2022.
© AKL e.V. / Andreas Steindl.
Prof. Constantin Häfner, Director of Fraunhofer ILT, opened the AKL'22 – Technology Conference at the Eurogress on May 5, 2022.

From May 4 to 6, 2022, laser manufacturers and users from various industries met for the 13th time at the “AKL – International Laser Technology Congress.” Prof. Constantin Häfner, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, was pleased to welcome the 521 participants live in Aachen for AKL’22, particularly since the congress had to be postponed due to the pandemic. 85 speakers brought participants up to date on the current status and trends in laser technology in production. At the AKL'22, the latest findings of applied research as well as pioneering achievements from industry were presented and discussed. The topics ranged from productivity increases in additive manufacturing and AI-supported laser systems to the networking of digital process chains for the smart production of tomorrow.

News at a Glance


Quo vadis – where is the development of laser beam sources headed?

After having to take a pandemic break of four years, the industrial laser technology community met at “AKL'22 – International Laser Technology Congress” in Aachen from May 4 to 6, 2022. The industry is doing well, and the biggest trend is the extensive digitalization of processes. At the same time, common beam sources are being pushed to ever new levels of peak performance. New to the conference program was the Quantum Technology & Photonics Forum, where major German companies presented an amazing range of topics.
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Laser Technology for Climate Research

At the LASER World of PHOTONICS trade fair, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT presented new laser systems it developed for researching the Earth's atmosphere. The fair was held in Munich from April 26 to 29, 2022 for the first time in three years, and the mood among the 900 exhibitors and 15,000 visitors was ebullient. Indeed, many showed great interest in the systems Fraunhofer ILT exhibited: lasers for space applications as well as for ground-based measurements.
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Metallic 3D printing: Series production of automotive parts on the home stretch

“We have succeeded in industrializing and digitalizing additive manufacturing (AM) for automotive series production.” With pride, 12 project partners announce that this has been doubly successful with IDAM (Industrialization and Digitalization of Additive Manufacturing). Three years ago, the consortium of SMEs, large companies and research institutions started with the common goal of revolutionizing metallic 3D printing in the field of automotive series production. Together, they set up a digitally networked, fully automated 3D printing production line at two locations at once and prepared it for automotive series production. From now on, at least 50,000 components per year can be manufactured cost-effectively at the BMW Group sites in Munich and at GKN Powder Metallurgy in Bonn using the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process, as well as more than 10,000 individual and spare parts. Due to the modular design of the blueprint of this line, the annual number of units can be further scaled as required.
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Process Chains for Isolation and Analysis: from Single Cells to Organoids

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on new tools for the preparation and analysis of single cells and cell assemblies. The team developed the “Liftoscope,” a system for cell sorting for subsequent cultivation that can analyze and transfer biomaterials precisely and in a way that is gentle on cells. In addition to this system, further 3D bioprinting methods are increasingly finding their way into biotechnological research: Thanks to the development of microfluidic organ-on-a-chip systems, various cells can be arranged in a defined and reproducible manner to form artificial tissues. Fraunhofer ILT experts will be presenting the results of their research at analytica in Munich from June 21 - 24.
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You will find us at these fairs

  • K 2022
    (Düsseldorf / October 19-26, 2022)
  • formnext
    (Frankfurt a. M. / November 15-18, 2022)

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Conferences and seminars

Technology Focus



In this field of research, we develop innovative laser beam sources with tailored spatial, temporal and spectral properties as well as output powers.


Optical Systems

The focus of this research field includes beam shaping and beam guiding, frequency conversion as well as design, layout and packaging of optical components.


Quantum Technology

Together with international experts we are developing, among other things, photon sources, photonic components & systems for future applications in the field of quantum technology.


Laser Measurement Technology

Together with customers from industry and research, we develop laser processes for production measurement technology, material and bioanalytics as well as testing technology, among others.


Additive Manufacturing

Since the mid-1990s, Fraunhofer ILT has been advancing Additive Manufacturing – especially of metallic components – with Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) and Laser Material Deposition (LMD), among others. 


Surface Technology

Laser-based technologies for the efficient processing, functionalization and finishing of surfaces are among the key topics in this field of research. 



Our scientists develop laser beam sources and laser-based joining processes for numerous applications in micro and macro technology.



We offer laser-based solutions for new or technically and economically optimized processes in cutting or ablation technology and accompany customers from the initial feasibility study to industrial implementation. 



In this technology field, we concentrate our digital competencies in laser technology and contribute to your progress in R&D and production in the age of RAMI and Industry 4.0.


EUV and Plasma Technology

In addition to application-adapted plasma-based beam sources, our experts develop optical systems for the efficient use of EUV radiation in industry and research, among others.


Medical Technology

In close cooperation with partners from life sciences, we research and develop laser-based processes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, among others.

Laser Technology for Your Industry

Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency. Thanks to its intensive research and application-specific developments, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has been guiding its industrial partners in developing their innovations for more than 30 years – in the “branches” section you will find further information and a selection from our services.

Information of Fraunhofer ILT on the current coronavirus pandemic to customers, partners, visitors and those interested in our services

How can Additive Manufacturing help in the fight against coronavirus? The EU project AMable calls for the submission of ideas in this area. In a second step, SMEs, for example, can submit solution concepts and receive funding.
© Mike Fouque –
Stay healthy!

At the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, we place the highest priority on the safety and health of our employees, customers and visitors. Hence, in connection with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Fraunhofer ILT has set up a crisis management team and is implementing the guidelines of the German authorities.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

Steinbachstr. 15
52074 Aachen, Germany

Telephone +49 241 8906-0
Fax +49 241 8906-121



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Together with German and foreign companies and research centers, Fraunhofer ILT develops a broad portfolio of solutions for innovations in industry and research.