Trumpf Focused on Sustainability in Metal FabricatingMarch 22, 2023
MetalForming appreciated the opportunity to participate in a Trumpf press conference on March 22, centered on the role that sheet metal fabrication technology—primarily laser cutting and welding—play in helping the industry achieve sustainability goals. The press conference was part of the Trumpf InTech inhouse exhibition in Germany. Stephan Mayer, Trumpf CEO for Machine Tools (far right), and Christian Schmitz, Trumpf CEO for Laser Technology, did a terrific job explaining not only the efficiency improvements provided by newer machine models that contribute to lower energy consumption, but also the improvements made in machine design and build that lead to a lower overall carbon footprint.
The InTech exhibition showcased solutions designed to boost sustainability and productivity in connected manufacturing. Alongside technologies to lower the consumption of materials, energy and cutting gas, the exhibition also featured processes to reduce or eliminate the use of environmentally harmful chemicals in automotive manufacture.
Among the showcased technologies:
- Highspeed Eco, a process that reduces gas consumption during laser cutting by as much as 60 percent.
- The nano-joint process, which substantially reduces the size of the retaining tabs used to connect parts in a laser-cut sheet metal nest to optimize material utilization.
- Short-pulse lasers that minimize the use of chemical cleaning agents, saving water and reducing the use of environmentally harmful chemicals.
- High-speed laser metal deposition, used to coat automotive brake discs and reduce wear and particulate emissions (brake dust).
Also up for discussion: digitalization and its role in supporting net-zero initiatives (transparency into the cutting and welding processes, for example, to enable process optimization); and smart machine controls using artificial intelligence to drive operating efficiency.
See also: TRUMPF Inc.