Machine and plant engineering is one of the main target groups of the laser-based systems and process technologies developed at Fraunhofer ILT. New high-performance beam sources and optical systems as well as highly efficient laser-based manufacturing processes give mechanical engineering the leverage to create new process chain solutions and business areas, as well as help users to create new products and to lower production costs., Fraunhofer ILT has a deep understanding of these processes - particularly in the manufacturing sector – such as laser cutting, laser welding, structuring and drilling techniques, as well as additive manufacturing. This is based on many years of experience in the simulation and modeling of laser technology. The institute supports its cooperation partners in selecting application-specific beam sources, in optimizing process efficiency and product quality through adapted optics systems and in using high-power process monitoring systems. It also cooperates with its R&D partners in commercializing and licensing its developments.
The digitization of industrial production makes the integration of sensors and process monitoring systems more important. The model-based planning of process chains and sensor-integrated implementation, as envisioned in Industry 4.0 concepts, makes it possible to create digital shadows of process flows, products and plants. Digital Photonic Production is a focal point at Fraunhofer ILT and makes an effective contribution to Industry 4.0.
The Digital Photonic Production research campus is systematically driving forward the interplay between laser processes and the digitally networked world. Particularly in the field of 3D printing and ultra-precision machining, Fraunhofer ILT is developing new approaches in close cooperation between science and industry to develop innovative laser systems and production processes. With the possibilities of artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0, process control will achieve a new quality in the future.