DMG MORI, a German machine manufacturing company, has extended its range of hybrid additive manufacturing systems with the release of LASERTEC 125. The new system is a laser deposition welding machine with machining capabilities which meets the requirements of maintenance, repair and production applications for large-scale parts.
The LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid follows on the company’s LASERTEC 65 laser deposition welding system, which combines additive capabilities with 5-axis machining for the production of metal components. The newly released system, which was unveiled at Formnext, has a larger build capacity, capable of handling parts as large as ø 1,250 x 745 mm and a workpiece weight of up to 2,000 kg.
By combining laser deposition welding and 5-axis simultaneous milling in the same machine—and by integrating an automatic changeover capability—the LASERTEC 125 hybrid system can reduce processing times significantly, by up to 80%. The highest savings are achieved by eliminating the need for such post-processing steps as heat treatment because the LASERTEC 125 system can deposit material with a hardness of up to 63 HRC.
Production and repair
In terms of applications, DMG MORI says the new hybrid system can produce a variety of components, including turbine blades with lightweight structures and closed impellers. The system can also easily switch between two materials, enabling users to use hard welding for wear-resistance in one area and corrosion-resistance welding in another area. This feature can also result in parts with improved cooling performance. For instance, a core made of a bronze material that dissipates heat can be welded onto die casting molds with an “outer skin” made of tool steel.
One of the key selling points of the new LASERTEC 125 system is its ability to efficiently repair and coat components. Like DMG MORI’s existing LASERTEC 65, the new system can economically repair metal parts, but it offers a larger build area to accommodate large-scale parts and dies. In the repair process, the damaged area is prepared using 5-axis milling. Then the laser deposition welding tool repairs the part. Finally, the repair is completed using the milling process again.
“In other words,” the company writes, “all the individual processes are brought together on one machine without compromising other production resources. Thanks to the precise process control the welded material is of an extremely high quality. A service life three times longer than that of conventional manual welding repair work was achieved with the repair of die-cast inserts.”
Because of the efficiency of the LASERTEC 125 system for repairing components, DMG MORI says it has important applications in industries such as oil and gas, chemical, energy and pharmaceutical.
Hybrid process chain
The LASERTEC 125 system can be integrated into hybrid CAD/CAM process chains, enabling greater productivity. Leveraging Siemens NX hybrid CAM, users can easily program end-to-end repairs and can transition between machining and laser deposition welding without hassle.
The hybrid technology is also supported by AM Assistant software, which includes an integrated thermal imaging camera for monitoring the build, melt pool size, temperature or the clearance between the nozzle and component.
The software also includes the AM Guard tool which allows users to store threshold values for process parameters—including powder volume, working distance and inert gas volume. The system monitors these values throughout the build or repair process and pauses the process if values are compromised.
The AM Evaluator software, for its part, offers intelligent downstream evaluation of 3D process data, including melt pool, powder flow and laser power analysis. These three factors can be analyzed individually as well as compared with each other and to previous builds. The software can also generate quality assurance reports.