MTC partners with high power laser provider

MTC partners with high power laser provider

Date: Tuesday 21 July 2015

News MTC partners with high power laser provider

MTC takes delivery of revolutionary new lasers

The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry has joined forces with the world’s leading provider of high power fibre lasers in a partnership aimed at driving forward laser processing in UK manufacturing.

As part of the partnership between the MTC and IPG Photonics, the MTC has taken delivery of state-of-the-art high power fibre lasers which have the potential to make a major impact on high value manufacturing and materials processing in the UK.

IPG Photonics is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of high performance fibre lasers. IPG and the MTC will work together to develop new manufacturing systems for materials processing and advanced applications.

The new equipment – among the first in Europe – enables manufacturers to reduce costs while improving productivity and quality. It combines multi-axis flexibility, high speed machining and minute accuracy. The equipment has a high operating efficiency and is also more compact than traditional lasers, allowing better use of factory space and reducing the need for multiple machines.

Working with experts from IPG, Manufacturing Technology Centre engineers will be able to develop new processes which might have been technically possible in the past, but were not viable in volume manufacture due to cost and complexity.

Mark Thompson, director of sales at IPG Photonics (UK), said: “IPG is committed to the MTC’s vision of inspiring British manufacturing on a global stage. Fibre laser technology can be scaled to meet market needs. That allows the supply chain rapidly to open up new opportunities in the aerospace, automotive, rail and industrial sectors. Fibre laser technology provides significant benefits of high speed processing combined with higher quality and lower cost.”

IPG Photonics – which has recently become a member of the MTC – is a pioneer in the laser industry. The company is the largest designer and manufacturer of high power lasers and amplifiers, sold to companies around the world for use in materials processing and micro-machining. The company has its headquarters in the United States with manufacturing operations in Germany, Russia and Italy. The company is opening a new UK sales and service centre to support customers.

IPG and MTC engineers are already working closely with MTC member Rolls-Royce to develop new processes and applications for fibre laser technology.

Clive Grafton-Reed, Rolls-Royce’s Global Process Owner for laser processing said: “Rolls-Royce is committed to being at the forefront of advanced manufacturingand the MTC is our preferred partner for the development of laser based processes. It is critical that the MTC has access to leading edge equipment and by having strong, engaged partners such as IPG, a capability can be built at the MTC which delivers industry changing solutions which we hope to develop and deploy in the future.”

MTC chief executive Clive Hickman said that attracting a distinguished international name with the capabilities of IPG to the MTC was a major achievement.

“We now have more than 85 industrial member companies across a wide range of sectors. We are working with the world’s elite engineers and manufacturers and growing at a rate that couldn’t have been envisaged when we were established,” he said.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre opened in 2010 and is a partnership between some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and three forward-thinking universities: Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough as well as TWI Ltd, the operating division of The Welding Institute.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board.

New high spec equipment and software for research projects is continually coming into the business. This gives many training opportunities and with work being so varied I don't think I would ever have the opportunity to get bored at the MTC. The MTC is also very determined to progress engineers to chartered status. This supports my development but also awards me with an internationally recognised qualification.
Mehul Parmar
MTC Assembly Systems