Integrating lasers into machine tools

Laser facilities can be integrated as universal tools into machine tools and automated manufacturing lines. New modular tool systems allow the flexible deployment and replacement of laser and machining tools, permitting virtually any combination or alternation of conventional and laser-assisted technologies in the treatment of surfaces. Today’s hybrid tool systems are capable of meeting the increasingly ambitious productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness targets for a wide range of products, even when the batch sizes are small.

The Fraunhofer IPT has many years of experience in the field of integrating laser systems into machine tools, for example by converting conventional milling, turning and spinning machines to hybrid machine tools. Such facilities can complete laser-assisted manufacturing processes or combine additive manufacturing with machining techniques. Our strategy of integrating laser equipment into existing production lines is minimally invasive, ensuring that the fundamental architecture of the underlying facility remains as intact as feasible. Whenever possible, we are using standard components to ensure that the machine can be easily upgraded, maintained and operated, as long as this does not affect the machine’s original functionality.

Our Services

  • Development and evaluation of individual processes and process chains in hybrid machine tools
  • Design and construction of solutions for the integration of lasers into machine tools
  • Design and construction of laser optics and mechanical tools (including wire feeding mechanisms) for hybrid machine tools


Integrating lasers into turning machines

By modifying the tool revolver, the laser beam is being conducted within the revolver to the tool stations. Once the beam has arrived there, it is connected to exchangeable optical beam tools, which direct it to the component according to the processing task it is meant to perform.


Integrating lasers into spinning machines

By adding a further axial arrangement to a conventional spinning machine and an assembly of swivel-mounted laser optics, it is possible to ensure that the complex movements of the tool during the spinning process are followed by a high-energy laser beam to increase the temperature in specifically targeted areas of the component.

Alzmetall LOB

Integrating lasers into 5-axis milling machines

The replacement of a conventional milling spindle with an optical laser spindle makes it possible to use 5-axis kinematics for the laser surface treatment of geometrically complex surfaces and the purposes of additive manufacturing.

Röders CMB

Integrating lasers into 3+1-axis milling machines

The Röders CMB was developed for the purposes of the CMB hybrid additive manufacturing technique (Controlled Metal Build-Up). The facility combines wire-based laser metal deposition with downstream milling operations for the purposes of a layer-by-layer build-up of customized components.


Laser beam structuring

At the Fraunhofer IPT, we are using compact replaceable system heads with special functions for laser surface structuring. The combination of dynamic beam expanders, scanner systems and an extension for inline measurements enables the high-precision application of surface structures.