Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies has developed a laser cladding system for use inside CNC milling machines. The combined “hybrid” machine enables metal deposition and subsequent finishing by milling in situ. After 5 years in development, the system debuted at the EMO Exhibition in Hannover late last year and was awarded 1st prize for multi-functional machines.
This is the first commercially available hybrid machine combining laser cladding and milling (in a single machine). Changeover from milling to cladding is fully automated and takes less than 20s. The cladding head is stored outside of the working area of the milling machine to allow machining with flood coolant. The system has been designed for use with nearly any CNC machine configuration and control (subject to the addition of laser safe guarding). The system can be retrofit into existing machines or supplied fully integrated with selected milling machines.