Rapid mobile servicing of tools, molds and other components and making changes to them represents a major customer benefit. Mobile laser welding machines located directly on-site can shorten the process chain considerably, as they eliminate time-consuming transportation of often cumbersome workpieces. Yet welding alone isn't usually enough. Generally speaking, workpieces need further machining. This has so far been the job of stationary milling machines, whose work first has to be planned and scheduled by experts, involving major outlay, before the actual machining can start. And, as a result, the resource-saving on-site idea is no longer feasible. That, at least, has been the case until now. In the run-up to EMO Hannover 2019, ALPHA LASER GmbH, a specialist in developing and manufacturing laser systems, and the startup Picum MT have announced they are working together on mobile laser welding and milling - in other words, complete machining on-site.
Picum's mobile milling machine makes this a reality. Weighing just 150 kilograms, it can be easily mounted on or next to a component and then performs machining operations fully automatically. After initial setup, the machine determines the component’s position and orientation and automatically generates the required machining code. The accuracy of this solution is said to be more than a match for stationary milling machines. Even complex free-form surfaces can be produced in virtually all materials on-site, thanks to five-axis simultaneous machining. An integrated measuring system also enables on-site quality assurance for the finished geometry. That's why at EMO Hannover, ALPHA LASER isn’t just showcasing its own ALFlak 900 F laser system for repair welding using wire or powder but also the Picum solution for mobile milling.