Russian laser users supported by German ideas

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Equipment for a water treatment plant in Russia has been built with the help of German laser expertise. In Russia there are five Laser Innovation Technological Centres (LITC), which are supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The idea behind the LITCs is based on a similar German network of testing and consulting centres for laser technology, founded in Germany in 1996. Just like their German counterparts, the Russian LITCs aim to make laser know-how available to a broad spectrum of industrial users.

An example for the work carried out for this project was given by the LITC in Moscow: A company asked the center for help in constructing a photochemical reactor for water decontamination. Different parts of a reflective stainless steel work piece had to be cut using a laser, and then welded together to form a reactor shell. Since the reactor operates at pressures of up to six atmospheres, the welding seams had to be hermetically sealed to narrow tolerances.

The laser technology for this project was exported from Germany to Moscow. A laser produced by Trumpf was connected to a processing head produced by Scansonic, before being mounted on a KUKA robot (all of which are German manufacturers).

The LITCs provide small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Russia with a sort of 'jump start in laser technology' - the expansion of laser manufacturing in Russia is being supported through consulting and testing. In addition, the project is opening new markets for German laser technology in Russia.