Work has started on a project to develop and apply research into laser technology, in an effort to improve manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies.
The High power Adaptable Laser beams for materials processing, or HALO, technology transfer project was inaugurated in September and is funded as part of the European Union (EU) framework seven (FP7) programme. It will be led by Gooch and Housego, with other participants including Fraunhofer, Trumpf, Laser Expertise and the University of Southampton.
The project is aimed at giving the European manufacturing sector a more effective materials-processing capability, in order to be globally competitive.
Accordingly, the HALO project will look at how both CW and pulsed laser systems can improve efficiencies in welding, cutting sheet metal and glass, with thickness ranging from <1mm to 25mm. HALO aims to put in place the necessary elements to enable significant advances in lasers for material processing.
The EU's FP7 is a funding initiative from the European Commission with the overall aim of developing technologies and their applications. The overriding goal is to improve the sustainability of manufacturing in Europe.