LASERBOND has successfully designed, developed, manufactured and shipped its first customised turnkey laser cladding system.
LaserBond will export the system to it partner in mainland China; the first of many laser cladding innovations the company expects to ship in the coming years.
The export package to China was for an additive manufacturing laser cladding cell, tailored for initial surface engineering enhancement and remanufacturing of mineral processing crusher rollers, up to 2m diameter x 5.5m long with a mass of 10 tonnes.
All components except the 6-axis robot, 4kW laser diode power unit and the control hardware are designed, manufactured and integrated in LaserBond’s Smeaton Grange workshops.
LaserBond’s technology division was established in response to a number of international enquiries to license its laser cladding innovation.
Offering tailored systems in custom hardware, software, and support packages, it capitalises on the company’s unique knowhow around the application of very high-powered lasers to apply specialised surfaces to heavy machine parts; typical of the resources sector.
LaserBond executive director Wayne Hooper, who leads the technology division, said LaserBond’s niche is at the ‘ heavy end’.
“Many surface engineered products require extended running times at high power levels, some projects running 16 hours at maximum power,” Mr Hooper said.
“This comes with challenges that our team has met.”
Many of LaserBond’s parts and technologies were also developed in-house for heavy industry and protected with patents (and applications), and its units were designed to handle high loading and high temperature (preheated) components.
Mr Hooper said one proprietary development was its powder injection nozzle system.
“We developed our own water-cooled, off-axis powder injection nozzle,” he said.
“This incorporates a rapidly replaceable powder injection tube and gas depressurised gravity-fed powder mixer to enable us to manage the intense heat accumulating in the laser head.
“Flowing on from that and the geometry of the part being processed led us to invest in our own control system development. “We have a world class product.” Another element is work piece manipulators for heavy components up to 20 tonne.
As awareness of the application benefits of laser additive manufacturing and advanced metallurgy to heavy end of industry grows, LaserBond has received new licencing enquiries for other turnkey LaserBond cladding system packages.
Across its two facilities, the company is working in additional R&D collaborations to develop a centre of excellence for surface engineered components for resource, infrastructure, defence and agricultural industries.
Pre Delivery Commissioning testing the operation of 6-axisrobot and 2-axis work piece manipulator.