Laser Welding Emag Automation Becomes Emag Lasertec
Emag Automation is now Emag Lasertec. The new name is intended to describe the focus of work and the strategic orientation more accurately, as the specialists see outstanding market opportunities for their integrated laser production solutions, the company announced.
A modern powertrain is an increasingly complex part for developers and production planners: In established systems such as torque converter automatic transmissions and dual-clutch transmissions, the number of gear steps is increasing. At the same time, hybrid drives and assistance systems are being developed. All of these factors together first of all provide additional components and thus additional weight, which must be saved again if possible. Against this background, laser welding has become an indispensable part of modern gear manufacturing: It can be used to connect components seamlessly - and the unnecessarily heavy and expensive screw connections used in the past are no longer necessary. In addition, the combination of a forged and subsequently machined hub and a formed sheet metal part, for example, results in weight-optimized coupling components. “In essence, this explains the success of our technology," says Dr. Andreas Mootz, Managing Director of Emag Lasertec. "Our process offers great opportunities for lightweight design and reduces component costs: However, it must always be integrated into holistic solutions. This is why we take responsibility for the entire system technology - from machining and laser welding to thermal joining and high-precision ultrasonic testing processes. Our know-how is a unique selling proposition in the market."
New Market Opportunities - Growing Technology Know-How
The specialists have already developed and delivered more than 160 of these laser welding systems - customized to customer specifications. All leading automobile manufacturers use the systems with the abbreviation "ELC" (Emag Laser Cell) to produce gears, differentials, clutch components, engine and steering components and much more. For some time now, these "Customized Solutions" have by far been the company's biggest sales driver. Consequently, the new company name is to position the Emag Lasertec more than ever in this area of application. In addition, technological development is shifting in favor of laser technology. For instance, the market expansion of hybrid drives, increases the demand for couplings with components joined by laser welding. And: The specialists are continuously expanding their know-how and application knowledge in laser technology. They have already designed systems with laser cleaning processes. High-power lasers are used in this process to effectively remove residues such as cooling lubricants or preservatives before welding. The process is faster than conventional cleaning processes and is easier to integrate into the process. Similarly promising is laser beam hardening, which is used to partially harden surface layers with minimal distortion.
Joining Technology Remains Relevant
Furthermore, Emag Lasertec continues to excel with its patented heating and joining technology for the production of gear shafts or "assembled" cam and gear shafts: Inside the Emag system, the temperature of a cam is increased with high precision by means of inductive heating and then joined to the shaft without the application of force. On this basis, camshafts with sophisticated geometric details can be realized and, in addition, a lot of component weight can be saved if pipes replace the much heavier cast camshaft. For example, forged cams are used which are not re-ground after joining. Subordinate components such as plugs or end pieces, on the other hand, are made of cheaper materials. This opens up savings potential. "In this are, we have a lot of experience with the sensitive production process - from heating and joining to holding. We configuring the entire technology to ensure that it fits perfectly into the production environment. This application remains important for us," confirms Mootz.
Always New Application Possibilities for Laser and Joining Technology
Altogether, the new Emag Lasertec will continue to grow over the next few years. The chances are good, because the demands of OEMs for lower component costs and effective lightweight design are leading to ever new applications for laser and joining technology, as current examples make clear - even beyond "classic" car production. The Heubach specialists are currently designing the first ELC machine for the differential gear of a truck with workpiece weights of more than 100 kilograms. Similarly promising are laser welding systems used in the production of rotor shafts or differentials in electric motors. "The customers always benefit from our process know-how and the way we work," concludes Mootz. "We start from the component level and build the entire production solution on this basis. The whole process is based on the modular Emag mechanical engineering, which includes a large number of proven components. The result is exceptionally stable and economical processes for laser welding and joining. With the new name, we will bring these strengths into the market more than ever."
This article was first published by Konstruktionspraxis.
Original: Juliana Pfeiffer / Translation: Alexander Stark