10 May 2011 Eco-efficiency of laser welding applications
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As widely known laser materials processing has some advantages regarding local heat input and controllability. In many fields applications were developed which are not accessible for conventional thermal processing. In other fields laser-supported manufacturing techniques are a valuable alternative. On the one hand laser techniques enable increased processing speed and less post-processing, leading to an increased productivity. On the other hand low efficiencies in the energy conversion seem to be a major drawback and apparently limit the range of applications. In the frame of conventional processing schemes laser beam welding requires a high utilization in order to run economically. Main advantages lie in the reduced consumption of material and the reduced efforts in post processing. Because of the locally concentrated heat input process emissions are lower which reduces energy and material consumption in the auxiliary chain. To make full use of the often-conjured flexibility a multitude of manufacturing schemes had been developed and adapted. In order to appraise the versatility of laser driven processing techniques a cost and benefit analysis based on a life-cycle approach is conducted including both, economics and ecology. Eco-efficiency is rated by a variation of the BASF method. Taking into account the reduced consumption of consumables, reduced effort for preparation and post-processing, and focusing on specific application ranges a positive environmental impact can be proven.
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Stefan Kaierle, Martin Dahmen, Okan Güdükkurt, "Eco-efficiency of laser welding applications", Proc. SPIE 8065, SPIE Eco-Photonics 2011: Sustainable Design, Manufacturing, and Engineering Workforce Education for a Green Future, 80650T (10 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.888794; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.888794


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