Vitesco Technologies: Increased durability through new laser welding technology

Regensburg, July 4, 2022. Vitesco Technologies, a leading international manufacturer of advanced drive technology and electrification solutions, uses innovative laser systems from its long-standing production engineering partner TRUMPF. With the introduction of the new green laser equipment for copper welded joints, Vitesco Technologies is among the pioneers in the serial use of this new solution. Compared to infrared laser systems – the standard in copper welding to date – the use of green lasers can reduce energy consumption by up to 20 percent, depending on the application, and therefore CO2 imprint of a laser welded joint. At the same time, production becomes more sustainable due to the fact that green laser systems cause virtually no copper spatter during welding, which otherwise means more effort during production.

The laser specialist TRUMPF has for the first time developed a green laser system of this type for industrial production, which operates in the visible light spectrum with a wavelength of 515 nm. Compared to the infrared laser welding technology with a wavelength of about 1030 nm used so far, the green laser welding process is more energy efficient and controllable.

For the first time, the green laser is being used at Vitesco Technologies for the ongoing production of complex battery management electronics for the BMW Group. Already here, the energy consumption for the welding assembly can be reduced by 4 percent just by replacing the beam source.

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Regensburg, July 4, 2022. Vitesco Technologies, a leading international manufacturer of advanced drive technology and electrification solutions, uses innovative laser systems from its long-standing production engineering partner TRUMPF. With the introduction of the new green laser equipment for copper welded joints, Vitesco Technologies is among the pioneers in the serial use of this new solution. Compared to infrared laser systems – the standard in copper welding to date – the use of green lasers can reduce energy consumption by up to 20 percent, depending on the application, and therefore CO2 imprint of a laser welded joint. At the same time, production becomes more sustainable due to the fact that green laser systems cause virtually no copper spatter during welding, which otherwise means more effort during production.

The laser specialist TRUMPF has for the first time developed a green laser system of this type for industrial production, which operates in the visible light spectrum with a wavelength of 515 nm. Compared to the infrared laser welding technology with a wavelength of about 1030 nm used so far, the green laser welding process is more energy efficient and controllable.

For the first time, the green laser is being used at Vitesco Technologies for the ongoing production of complex battery management electronics for the BMW Group. Already here, the energy consumption for the welding assembly can be reduced by 4 percent just by replacing the beam source.

Our sustainable production with a smaller CO2 footprint and very stable processes is a competitive advantage. Because for vehicle manufacturers, sustainability of the highest quality is of strategic importance. This is why the use of green laser systems is important to us.

Thomas Stirle, member of the Executive Board of Vitesco Technologies

Sustainable and innovative production technology: green lasers

Copper welding is a complex process. At the same time, the requirements for copper welded joints and their number in electrification products are increasing. Until now, copper was welded with infrared laser systems (IR lasers). However, this process is difficult to control because the amount of energy absorbed by the copper during the welding process changes abruptly after a certain point. Initially, the copper reflects almost all of the laser radiation before the weld suddenly heats up. Complex measures are needed to protect electronic systems from the copper spatter that can be generated in the process. Due to the initial high reflection and low energy absorption, IR lasers require a lot of power, making them less robust compared to green lasers.

“Green lasers are much more effective for welding copper than infrared lasers. The new systems require less electricity and still provide an unprecedentedly stable, repeatable process with a precisely controlled penetration depth into the copper,” explains Rainer Pühl, Head of Operations in the Electrification Technology business unit. Thanks to these characteristics, green laser systems are currently becoming the standard technology option company-wide for certain applications.

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Sustainable and innovative production technology: green lasers

Copper welding is a complex process. At the same time, the requirements for copper welded joints and their number in electrification products are increasing. Until now, copper was welded using infrared laser systems (IR lasers). However, this process is difficult to control because the amount of energy absorbed by the copper during the welding process changes abruptly after a certain point. Initially, the copper reflects almost all of the laser radiation before the weld suddenly heats up. Complex measures are needed to protect electronic systems from the copper spatter that can be generated in the process. Due to the initial high reflection and low energy absorption, IR lasers require a lot of power, making them less robust compared to green lasers.

“Green lasers are much more effective for welding copper than infrared lasers. The new systems require less electricity and still provide an unprecedentedly stable, repeatable process with precisely controlled copper penetration depth,” explains Rainer Pühl, Head of Operations in the Electrification Technologies business unit. Thanks to these characteristics, green laser systems are currently becoming the standard technology option company-wide for certain applications.

Copper welding is a task that is as common as it is challenging for us. Together with TRUMPF, we developed the new green laser application for three years.

Rodrigo Perez, Battery Product Line Manager at Vitesco Technologies

2 kW green laser systems are currently being used to mass produce highly integrated and highly complex battery management electronics for the BMW Group.

“The green laser has great potential for many electrification products. In addition to electronics, this also applies to electric motors. Among other things, we can use the highly efficient stator welding process with 138 welding points per motor,” adds Pühl. One of the technological advantages of green lasers is that even particularly difficult welds can be mastered successfully with a high level of process reliability. “The green laser is a key investment in the future of sustainable mobility – starting with production,” says Pühl.

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2 kW green laser systems are currently being used to mass produce highly integrated and highly complex battery management electronics for the BMW Group.

“The green laser has great potential for many electrification products. In addition to electronics, this also applies to electric motors. Among other things, we can use the highly efficient stator welding process with 138 welding points per motor,” adds Pühl. One of the technological advantages of green lasers is that even particularly difficult welds can be mastered successfully with a high level of process reliability. “The green laser is a key investment in the future of sustainable mobility – starting with production,” says Pühl.

Green lasers are much more effective for welding copper than infrared lasers
© TRUMPF Group

  • Green lasers are much more effective for welding copper than infrared lasers
    © TRUMPF Group

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