Enabler of this technology is the integration of a vibration resistant laser diode module directly into a sheet forming machine. It has to deliver 1 kW of power on 1 cm² using direct regular water cooling for operation from 10ºC to 40ºC which will lead to a reduction of forces in roll forming by 50%. The assessment aims at implementing a totally spring-back-free process with 100% geometric certainty after forming.
For the user, the application of laser-assisted technology in roll forming provides a way of improving the flexibility in the design of products. It enables a reduction of required mechanical efforts and breakages, and the capability to handle work pieces with higher strengths and thicknesses with the same machine. In combination with an increase in the maximum forming speed, all these enhancements contribute to an increase in productivity.
In relation to the tracks, the results of the project will allow cost-competitive high-volume production of moderately complex applications. This covers a huge portion of the global market with over one million parts per year. The expected ability to produce compact profiles however enables new comfort designs for the high-end markets. A successful application would open a new and unique market as the new comfort designs cannot be produced with existing technology.