Laser cutting in the auto industry

Plymouth, Mich. – The Detroit Three, the Big Three, or the Domestic Three: However you refer to them, during an event last week at TRUMPF’s Laser Technology Center, located near Detroit, Emmy-award winning automotive journalist John McElroy said, “We’re back.”

As he trumpeted this triumph of US automakers as “the new reality,” he also added: “There is no question the American automotive market is almost fully competitive with any place in the world.”

The popular industry expert made the remarks during his May 5th address to approximately 100 manufacturers and engineers who had gathered to see the latest, cutting-edge laser technology from TRUMPF, including the TRUMPF TruLaser Cell 8030, which was formally introduced to the American market during the event.

TRUMPF officials’ hopes are that the machine will be a catalyst to effect change in the domestic automotive market that will help American manufacturers become fully competitive in the global arena, not “almost fully competitive,” as McElroy noted during his keynote.

McElroy explained that one of the big problems of the “The Big Three” is that they produce vehicles that are heavier than their international competitors.

TRUMPF’s TruLaser Cell 8030 employs laser technology to help manufacturers create products that are lighter and stronger, and are therefore more fuel efficient and safer – and on par in these areas with competitors outside of the domestic market.

“The TruLaser Cell 8030 is the ultimate machine for doing these types of processes,” said Tim Morris, GM of TRUMPF’s Laser Technology Center. Morris described TRUMPF’s TruLaser Cell 8030 as a 5-axis laser system designed specifically for laser cutting hot stamped 3D components.

According to McElroy, the possibilities offered by laser technology, such as that offered by TRUMPF, have the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry as design engineers discover new ways to utilize it. He cited the lasers’ ability to weld closed sections and also the reduction of weld flanges, as two examples.

“Things like flanges in the vehicle’s design? Well, you may not even need flanges,” McElroy said.


 

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