VW specialists have improved the time required for cutting Passat's B-pillar significantly using TRUMPF’s laser-cutting systems. The new process technology incorporated in high-speed, 3D laser cutting with plasma and the greater dynamics of the new TRUMPF TruLaser Cell Series 7000 form the basis for even faster processing.
The success of the efforts at Kassel has set a precedent for the use of laser-cutting systems in pressing plants. Volkswagen’s sister company Audi has also invested in the new TRUMPF laser cutting systems for high-strength components at Ingolstadt for the next generation of the Audi A4.
Why use laser to cut high-strength steel?
Wear and Tear
In contrast to mechanical cutting, more can be accomplished with light. The laser is an optical, non-contact tool with big advantages, especially since the melting point of ‘usual’ and high-strength steel is almost identical.
Short cycle times are especially desirable. One disadvantage that laser cutting has compared to mechanical punching is its low speed.
But this can be increased as seen in prime examples such as 3D laser processing machines of the TruLaser Cell Series 7000 that offer sensor-supported piercing on-the-fly as well as plasma high-speed cutting.
Overall, the laser systems provide increased machine power and added dynamics due to the decreased moving masses.
The high availability of laser-cutting systems is a significant factor and a result of their contact-free operation that does not expose them to high forces.
TRUMPF’s additional incentive for users is a magnetic coupling between the optics and the B/C axis. In the event of a collision, the coupling minimises damage to the machine and limits downtime.
A coherent material flow concept is also required. This includes a rotation exchanger so that the two-part work table of the laser system can be unloaded from one position and supplied with the next component at the same time. The handling of the rotation exchanger could also be automated with a robot.
TRUMPF’s laser-cutting systems are available from Headland Machinery .