Hybrid laser machine wins innovation prize at EMO

Sept. 19, 2013
Hameul Maschinenbau's HSTM 1000 hybrid laser can perform laser cladding, milling, turning, and polishing.

Meeder, Germany - German manufacturer Hameul Maschinenbau GmbH was recently awarded an MM Maschinenmarkt Award for the versatility of its HSTM 1000 hybrid laser machine that can measure the component, adapt the NC paths to the current workpiece geometry, and perform laser cladding, milling, turning, and polishing.

The MM awards are presented each year at EMO Hannover, a German trade fair for metalworking taking place this week, to newly developed machines, systems, processes, or tools of exhibitors at the show. The products are evaluated in terms of operating efficiency, engineering process, and degree of innovation.

The Hameul Maschinenbau hybrid machine is capable of remanufacturing high-value metal components, such as turbine blades in order to give them a second life instead of manufacturing new parts. This gives a cost advantage, in particular when high value and complex-shaped components are concerned.

The machine combines five technologies in one unit: five-axis CNC milling, laser cladding, robot polishing, inspection, and laser marking. Any of these processes can be combined, as required by the particular project. Automatic methods allow the equipment to change between manufacturing processes as easily as a conventional machine can change between milling cutters.

Laser cladding is essentially a welding-based method of additive manufacturing that allows high-integrity material to be deposited onto the part being repaired. It can be carried out with virtually all conventional welding metals, with the focused heat input allowing cladding of even difficult-to-weld materials.

A typical application for the machine is the repair of a worn blade on an impeller. Using a hybrid machine, it is possible to remove the damaged area by milling off the worn material and then build the material back up using the cladding technology. A second machining operation, using high-speed five-axis milling, then produces the final shape, with a smooth transition between the original part and the new material. Polishing and laser marking can be undertaken to complete the component, if required. In-cycle part inspection provides feedback to orientate the parts, assess defects, and ensure accuracy throughout the various stages.

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Photo courtesy of Hameul Maschinenbau GmbH

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