TWI is working alongside a number of project partners as part of the Factories of the Future public-private partnership to develop a highly flexible, modular, re-configurable laser process head capable of covering welding, cladding and cutting.
The ModuLase project aims to reduce costs, increase production speed and offer additional flexibility without compromising quality through the development of a modular processing head system alongside intelligent sensor technologies for in-process monitoring.
Rather than taking time to change processing heads for different additive manufacturing and other laser-based manufacturing applications, ModuLase will offer a complete solution with a changeover time of less than one minute between processes.
The system will use a Beam Forming Unit (BFU) suitable for different processes with three end-effectors to provide the required functionalities. The end-effectors will include intelligent sensor technologies for in-process monitoring and control while an intelligent software system allows for the automatic reconfiguration of the process head and semi-automated process optimisation through a user-friendly interface.
The Modulase project will also develop welding, cladding and cutting process knowledge for the target markets.