Berlin-based Scansonic MI GmbH is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of laser processing optics, optical sensor technology, and process monitoring systems. Since its founding in 2000, Scansonic has been tirelessly developing new industrial applications for laser technology. Scansonic provides worldwide onsite support to its customers through its global sales and service network and offices in the US and China. Interview with Dr. Axel Luft, Managing Director Sales and Marketing at Scansonic MI. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Axel Luft: Scansonic’s laser welding with optical and tactile seam tracking sets global standards in vehicle bodywork and e-mobility applications. With its innovative processing heads for laser welding, laser brazing, laser cutting, laser hardening, and laser coating, Scansonic customers achieve the highest quality in their manufacturing processes. The RLW-S laser processing optics shows its strengths in laser welding of the hairpins used in electric motors. This system’s integrated optical sensor precisely detects contours and reliably controls even the most complex welding processes. | Copyright Scansonic E.E: What’s the news about new products? A.L: One important area of focus for Scansonic is the creation of customized solutions. Most of the company’s approximately 130 employees come from the fields of design, lasers, electronics, or software and process development. They are continuously working on new developments for the entire process chain – from initial concept to serial production. Whether it involves new materials, modified component geometries, or fine-tuning a process, the company works closely at every stage with customers who rely on Scansonic to solve their production challenges. The Scansonic Laser Application Center is one of the largest and most modern centers of its kind in the world, with eleven laboratories as well as a wide variety of laser types and robot models. E.E: What are the ranges of products? A.L: Scansonic develops, manufactures, and markets innovative processing heads for laser welding, laser brazing, laser cutting, laser hardening, and laser coating as well as optical sensor technology. Scansonic is the global market leader in laser-based joining systems for body construction. The company’s optics, sensors and process-monitoring systems are primarily used in the automotive industry, rail vehicle construction, and energy technologies. | Copyright Scansonic E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? A.L: Scansonic is the world market leader in laser-based joining in car body construction. For 20 years, almost all international car manufacturers rely on our processing optics. For the future, we see a significant potential in e-mobility and its specific challenges as well as in general industry, e.g. for laser cutting applications. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? A.L: Many new applications for laser welding in the automotive industry are currently resulting from the development of electric vehicles. Compared to car body construction, the required accuracies are significantly higher. For example, sheets with thicknesses of 50 µm to 100 µm have to be welded for the production of so-called bipolar plates, which are required in fuel cells. The width of the weld seam is only 100 µm. All seams must be absolutely tight, and at the same time speeds of 60 to 80 m/min are required. Another application is large aluminum radiators, where a weld is made in the approximately 1 mm thin bottom sheet with a top sheet thickness of 0.8 mm. Since a cooling medium flows through the cooler, the seams must also be absolutely tight here. The smallest pore in the sheet metal leads to the rejection of the entire component. That poses new challenges for processes and tools. Dr. Axel Luft, General Manager Sales & Marketing | Copyright Scansonic E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? A.L: As of 1 July 2022, Scansonic took over its own global sales efforts. This is part of Scansonic’s continued growth strategy. The company’s products for laser-based metal processing require intensive consultation, and are generally adapted to each customer’s individual production processes. With this new structure, we are now able to directly provide to our customers the technical knowledge and service they need.