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Press Release

11.05.2009
ROFIN Hands Over the 5,000th CO2 Slab Laser to Daimler

The DC 050 is the 5,000th CO2 Slab Laser that ROFIN-SINAR Laser GmbH hands over to the Mercedes-Benz located in Stuttgart-Hedelfingen, Germany.

High spirits in the works of the automobile manufacturer Daimler in Stuttgart-Hedelfingen during the handover of the 5,000th jubilee laser to the gear manufacturing experts. Here in Hedelfingen, where a part of the main works of Untertürkheim is located, directly at the Neckar River, Daimler traditionally produces power engine components emphasized on motors, gears and axes in their own direction. Here, new technologies are successfully developed and created with short lines of communication.

CO2 Slab lasers from ROFIN are already known well in the process development and production: altogether, 18 Slab lasers have been welding gears for many years. The 5kW DC 050 is the latest addition in this line. The laser will be used in an existing two-station laser welding machine from the German mechanical engineer Arnold to weld planet carriers. This laser processing machine, built in 1997, was moved to the works in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen in 2001 and then altered and set up for its new task. Since 2002, planet carriers have been welded. They are used for all-wheel components in the 7-speed automatic gearbox 7G-TRONIC. After ten years of technical perfect function it was time to change the laser beam source.

Due to the long-term & positive experience with ROFIN Slab lasers, the decision was made in favor of a ROFIN DC 050. With an exceptional beam quality of K ? 0.9, the lasers of the DC Series are ideal for deep welding required in gear manufacturing and allow processing with minimal heat input for the lowest possible distortion of the workpieces. Importance is attached to the flexibility of the laser machines. “We are generally using the laser like a standard tool. We use the laser beam sources and the machines flexibly, depending on the task. This is important to us so that we can always meet the requirements”, says Markus Lorenz, who is responsible for the production planning.

Over the years, the process development and production groups of Daimler have acquired great knowledge about the well-established laser beam source. Extensive application tests and training of the machine users were not necessary. The production could be continued immediately after integrating the new machine.

The laser processes the planet carrier in the all-wheel component of the automatic gearbox 7G-TRONIC. With this all-wheel component, the experts from Untertürkheim successfully found a way to increase the traction and to similarly reduce the additional consumption of fuel from the traditional 1 to 0.4 liters per 100 km miles traveled.

Daimler has been relying on the Slab laser as a reliable and maintenance-free laser beam source that is used by many users for welding or even cutting applications all over the world.

ROFIN DC Series


Today, diffusion-cooled CO2 Slab lasers are available with output powers of up to 8 kW. A radio frequency gas discharge takes place between the large electrodes. The narrow interelectrode spacing allows effective removal of the heat from the discharge chamber via the directly water cooled electrodes (diffusion cooling), which gives rise to comparatively high power density.

The resonator consists of rotation-parabolic mirrors and allows the outcoupling of a laser beam with very good focusing properties. In external, reflective beam shaping components a pure beam is converted into a rotation symmetrical beam with an almost perfect beam quality of K ? 0.9.

ROFIN CO2 Slab lasers are easy to maintain due to their patented design. For example, the laser does not need turbines as there is no gas exchange. The laser gas bottle is integrated into the laser head so that an external gas supply is not necessary. The laser beam that is created in the laser beam is outcoupled by a diamond window so that the use of transmitting optics becomes redundant. Nothing but water cooled mirrors act as robust and maintenance-free reflective optics.

7G-Tronic


To further optimize the laser power of the automatic gear box, Mercedes-Benz has developed the worldwide first seven speed automatic gearbox for Mercedes-Benz cars. The use of seven gear ratios allows the automatic transmission to retain the small increases in engine speed that are important for ensuring optimum gear ratios, while at the same time offering a larger ratio spread between the lowest and highest gears. This does not only provide more range for the electronic control to make the switching operation preferably fuel-efficient and with fast reactions. It also reduces the average motor rotation speed – an advantage for both, fuel consumption and noise behavior.