High-speed laser machines rely on POWERLINK and openSAFETY
LASERVORM has developed a control concept for laser machines that works up to 40 times faster than comparable approaches. The real-time POWERLINK network guarantees the necessary high speed and precise synchronization - down to the microsecond.
"Laser machines have to become more and more flexible in order to efficiently handle small batch sizes and constantly changing component geometries," explains Thomas Kimme, managing director of LASERVORM. This is why the company relies on a modular design that allows machines to be customized at any time without having to invest a great deal of effort. This applies to small-scale modifications, such as retrofitting measurement systems, as well as larger upgrades or conversions. "Modifying a laser welding machine to create a solution for powder laser cladding is no problem at all for us," says Kimme.
"For our modular approach, the combination of POWERLINK as the backbone fieldbus and OPC UA as the interface between the machines as well as between the machine and process control layer has proven to be the perfect solution," explains Kimme. Additional machine modules can be added easily, while quality data can be collected and even edited in real time. The OPC UA and POWERLINK also provide additional key advantages, especially the fact that they are both vendor-independent and based on open source software.
This is also true for openSAFETY, which LASERVORM has fully integrated in its machines. "openSAFETY is the fastest safety system on the market," says Kimme. This technology can be used to reduce the size of enclosures and the thickness of walls. "With openSAFETY, our machines can be made built less expensively without compromising safety or productivity a single bit."
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