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In the presence of Professor Eckhard Beyer, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden, and Bernd Bodenstedt, Technical Plant Manager at Bosch Rexroth’s Dutch site in Boxtel, a process for efficient high-performance laser powder buildup welding developed in close collaboration by the two partners has now been officially released. Prior to this, a team of IWS scientists had converted an existing installation for coating large hydraulic piston rods up to 19 meters long and 600 millimeters in diameter to the new process and immediately made it many times more productive. During this conversion and upgrading work, the research team also prepared the installation’s system technology for future Industry 4.0 applications.

But that's not all. Thanks to an inductive heating process also developed by the Fraunhofer IWS and implemented in the Bosch Rexroth installation, coatings that are susceptible to cracking or difficult to weld can now also be applied flawlessly. Among other things, these coatings provide effective protection against corrosion and thus represent a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional nickel-chromium coatings. "This is a unique development. Optimizing the system and the technology was intended not only to give us more technical possibilities and coating options, but also to improve the efficiency of the entire operation. Thanks to the Fraunhofer IWS, we were able to take the laser beam buildup welding process introduced at the end of 2016 to the next level. We now have a less critical and far more stable process with a huge improvement in quality," says Bodenstedt.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS (D-01277 Dresden)
Website: www.iws.fraunhofer.de/en.html