Non-conventional manufacturing processes and technology integration

It is our mission to accelerate the development of non-conventional manufacturing strategies with a view to meeting today‘s and tomorrow‘s product-specific and production-specific challenges. For this purpose, we are exploring a range of manufacturing techniques including electro-erosive technologies such as EDM and ECM, water jet ablation and laser technologies such as laser deposit welding, laser hardening and laser structuring. Another of our core competencies is the integration of non-conventional manufacturing techniques into actual process chains, from the analysis and evaluation of existing process chains via their adaptation or restructuring by integrating non-conventional manufacturing techniques to the practical technology integration at your premises.

For each of these techniques, we are also developing application-oriented CAM modules that are designed for easy integration into your existing CAM solutions and that guarantee the smooth transfer of our process knowledge.

Laser Materials Processing

© Fraunhofer IPT

In the field of laser material processing, we design and qualify laser-based processes that allow you to integrate laser technology efficiently into your value chains. We develop innovative »laser structuring« approaches for a flexible functionalization of surfaces, allowing the application of high-precision 3D-structured surfaces to geometrically complex components. In order to protect component surfaces against excessive wear, we are focusing on the »laser hardening« and »laser metal deposition« technologies. We are using laser metal deposition techniques to generate wear-resistant protective coatings and to develop innovative additive manufacturing strategies. This will allow a highly flexible production of components with complex geometries and their automated repair in the event that something goes wrong.

See also the chapters on the following topics

Electro-Erosive Ablation (EDM and ECM)

With the technologies of electrical discharge machining (EDM) and electrochemical machining (ECM), it becomes possible to machine almost force free electrically conductive materials that are extremely hard or difficult to machine. Based on its wide range of practical experience with the spark erosion technology and its profound understanding of the physical processes that are involved, the Fraunhofer IPT is developing and optimizing electro-erosive processes to machine new materials, to discover and engineer the underlying mechanisms and to design innovative process chains.

See also the chapters on the following topics

Water Jet Ablation

Wasserstrahlabtragen
© Fraunhofer IPT

For more than 25 years, the Fraunhofer IPT has been exploring and further developing water jet technologies. We are currently integrating water jet processes into existing process chains with a view to designing efficient strategies for the cutting of materials and material composites that are difficult to machine with conventional techniques, focusing specifically on multi-axis machining techniques and defined material ablation with the purpose of replacing conventional rough milling processes. By adapting the interfaces, we are opening up new potential applications for water jet technologies, widening the range of suitable new materials and helping you to design more efficient processes. The water jet technology enjoys several significant advantages – such as high cutting power, the absence of a heat-affected zone (as it is a cold process) and high levels of machining flexibility – which render it potentially very useful for applications such as the production of high-stress components in turbo machine construction and the machining of special materials. The wear-free water jet is capable of cutting, drilling and machining virtually all materials and of structuring their surfaces, by and large independently from the physical properties of the materials involved.

See also the chapters on the following topics

CAM Software for Non-Conventional Manufacturing Techniques

NCProfiler
© Fraunhofer IPT

The Fraunhofer IPT is developing CAM solutions for a wide range of individual technologies, processes and production facilities in industry and research that can help to integrate non-conventional manufacturing technologies into existing process chains.

See also the chapters on the following topics

Technology Organization

In areas where the concerns of industrial and academic research overlap, the Fraunhofer IPT is developing and evaluating efficient and application-oriented process chains for the production of one-off items and small batch sizes by structuring manufacturing technologies and resources in view of tomorrow’s challenges. For this purpose, we take account of new approaches to organize production lines as well as of new developments within the individual manufacturing technologies that may pave the way towards more efficient production chains.

See also the chapters on the following topics