Application Note

Application Note: Energy-Efficient, Process-Reliable Mass Production Of Thermoplastic Automotive Components

Source: LIMO Lissotschenko Microoptic Inc.

By Peter Bruns, Manager of Application & Technical Service, LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH

Industrial series production of very large quantities of automotive components at one of Germany's largest automotive suppliers is a challenge.

The mechanical engineering firm VWH (Herschbach, Germany) therefore developed a mass production line that combines process reliability, high throughput, and energy efficiency for the assembly, joining, and testing of thermoplastic components made of PA6.6 GF30. The key process is laser transmission welding with industrial laser systems from LIMO, together with online monitoring of process parameters, as well as complete quality control.

The project was realized in cooperation between VWH and LIMO (Dortmund, Germany), two medium-sized companies. VWH has about 100 employees and is part of the Gesco Group, a network of several successful medium-sized companies. VWH specializes in the development and manufacture of complex semi and fully automated production systems for assembly, testing, and packaging of components. The core competence of VWH also includes prototyping as well as design and construction of injection molds.

With about 200 employees, LIMO develops and manufactures solutions for laser materials processing, consisting of diode laser systems and process tools that are based on LIMO's refractive beam-shaping technology through micro-optics. For all three types of laser transmission welding (contour, simultaneous, and quasisimultaneous welding), LIMO offers intelligent solutions, allowing effective and accurate use of laser power, as well as process-controlled welding. This includes also welding accessories, for instance high-precision glass holding-down devices.