The decision in favour of active research into laser technology was taken in our company in 1978. In the following years we started with the setting-up of a laser laboratory charged with the task of performing basic manufacturing technology experiments in order to examine the ap-plications of laser technology for cutting, welding, hardening, remelting and secondary alloys. The first laboratory-laser - a 2,5 kW fast axial flow CO2 laser - is connected with a CNC-controlled workpiece manipulation unit, which is designed in such a way that workpieces from the smallest component of a car gearbox up to crankcases for commercial vehicles can be manipulated at speeds considered theoretically feasible for laser machining. The use of the laser beam for cutting, hardening and welding tasks has been under investigation in our company, in this laboratory for some 6 years. Laser cutting is now no longer a question of development, but is instead standard practice and is already used in various sec-tions of our production division for pilot-series manufacturing and for small batches. Laser hardening has, in our opinion, great possibilities for tasks which, for distortion and accessibility reasons, cannot be satisfactorily performed using present-day processes, for instance induction hardening. However, a great deal of development work is still necessary before economically reasonable and quality-assured production installation can be undertaken. Laser-welding is now used in series-production in our company for two engine components. More details are given below.