Update

Advances in laser direct metal deposition

Auburn Hills, MI—During FABTECH, 2009, the POM Group announced its new robot-based DMD IC106; a machine in an inert environment for 6-axis additive manufacturing. The machine offers additional features such as closed-loop process control, dual hopper powder delivery, 6-axis additive DMDCAM software, and composition monitoring to enable research on new innovations. POM’s new process diagnostic software provides the researchers an excellent tool for analysis and understanding of complex additive manufacturing processes. The machine is competitively priced and targeted for the university or research markets.

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POM has developed its fifth and sixth generation DMD machines, SYNERGY5 and DMD 405g. SYNERGY5 blends five technologies, and was a joint-venture effort between POM, Deloro Stellite, and Nuvonyx Inc. (now acquired by Coherent Inc.). The project combines advanced high-power laser deposition technology with ultra-precision finish using a newly developed dry micro-EDM technology (with the help of University of Michigan). Using a high-power diode laser, deposition rates are increased drastically to improve productivity, while exercising improved process control through an advancement of its closed-loop control technology, and developing composition monitoring of deposits by online spectral analysis of the plume. The project was funded by the NIST Advanced Technology Program.

Under a separate multi-year research contract from US Department of Defense, POM is developing its sixth generation DMD machine, DMD 405g, by combining laser based deposition technology to build the part and laser based machining technology to finish the part in the same cell. The machine offers remote operation capability (U.S. Patent # 6,580,959) through wireless data transfer using POM’s new encryption/compression/decompression software. Once completed, it is hoped to enhance the agility of the US Defense forces by providing them with in-field part repair capability.

POM’s core focus has always been to add value to its customer’s products using the DMD (Direct Metal Deposition) technology. For example, in the case of tool and die the process is used to: extend tool life by DMD hardfacing, or to enhance productivity through DMD-aided conformal cooling of molds, and in the case of cutting/drilling tools for oil and gas/construction industry by DMD hardcoating. For the defense and other industries, POM has successfully remanufactured worn out or damaged components. During the current economic downturn, remanufacturing appears to be gaining a new boost by the insertion of additive technologies, like DMD, that has the capability of repairing expensive parts/components with little or no change of properties to the original part.

These efforts are carried out by a group of dedicated, highly trained, and knowledgeable engineers at POM’s product development center in Auburn Hills, MI. For more information on the company, products, and services, visit www.pomgroup.com or email info@pomgroup.com.

Lab adds high-power fiber laser

La Pocatière, Quebec—Since the inauguration of its laser lab in 2006, Centre spécialisé de technologie physique du Québec inc. (CSTPQ), founded in 1983, has been offering manufacturing companies and system integrators services in evaluation of the applicability of laser processes, in development of operating parameters and in adaptation of products to laser welding

 

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Halfway between an application lab and research institution, CSTPQ, located on the beautiful St. Lawrence River, undertakes projects of various sizes, from a few hours test to a long-term development, in order to properly meet the client’s needs along their way to adoption or improvement of a laser process.

As a recognized technology transfer center, CSTPQ has a flexible structure allowing diverse forms of participation with companies in the development of their products and processes. Industrial partners can chose the level of involvement in the activities made at CSTPQ’s laboratories, from discussions on the main orientation to active participation in the laser processing trials. Partners are welcome to join engineers, scientists, and technicians for a practical experience with the process of interest.

This type of collaboration is highly appreciated by customers, as it maintains a good fit between the work done and the industrial needs, and ensures a continuous transfer of knowledge. Companies are thus better equipped to master the process once implemented and to adapt their products when necessary.

The recent installation of a 10-kW IPG Photonics fiber laser, the most powerful of its kind in Canada, focuses industrial demand and work on highly demanding processes such as hybrid laser/GMA welding. CSTPQ’s laser team is also pursuing development and transfer efforts in autogenous laser welding, 3D laser cutting, and scanner welding. Other projects will soon make available to industry services in laser cladding and heat treatment.

Flexible and affordable, CSTPQ’s services are aimed at quickly and efficiently providing answers to companies willing to improve their knowledge and use of industrial processes involving high-power lasers. As a private not-for-profit organization, CSTPQ benefits from the support of several agencies and ministries of the government of Canada and Québec to develop its expertise and its laboratories. The high-level knowledge developed in the course of the funded research activities is made accessible to companies, ensuring an optimal efficiency in the realization of the work done for the industry.

 

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