The factory of the future will likely contain significant automation and non-contact cutting and joining methods including different laser processing technologies.
In preparation for this, we have a high-power laser processing workstation based on a 2 kW multimode IPG fibre laser. The beam from this is conveyed via a 200 μm internal diameter optical fibre to a processing head positioned on an ABB IRB140 6-axis robot within a large process chamber. The station is self-built for flexibility and ease of reconfiguration for both research and teaching applications. It is currently optimised for welding, cladding and direct metal deposition applications, but is also capable of cutting both metallic and non-metallic materials.