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Innovative spirit of Asian automotive, steel and aerospace industry boosts business
Asian manufacturers' innovative spirit and growing quality requirements enable LAP to continue its expansion in Asian markets. Aerospace, steel and automotive industry manufacturers are increasingly turning to LAP laser systems to improve their manufacturing cost-effectiveness and quality.“Nowhere else in the world is the market for industrial laser technologies booming so strongly as in Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and India” said Dr Ralph Föhr, LAP Area Manager Asia. “Asian firms are curious, they like to experiment with new technologies.”To be closer to the Chinese market, in 2013 LAP converted its sales office in China into a branch office in its own right; LAP Laser Applications China Co., Ltd. The location remains Shanghai, the most important industrial city in the People's Republic of China. In addition to Singapore there is now a second local presence, whose employees from the relevant cultural milieu are taking on responsibility for sales, after sales and service. Föhr said further: “To build the necessary relationships and trust for a successful sales operation, employees, agents and distributors must be familiar with and live the forms and channels of communication in their markets. That is not possible from Germany.” LAP has been operating successfully in Asia for a total of more than 15 years now.Laser projectors for the Asian aerospace industry “Many Asian countries would like to become more independent of western industry and create value through onshoring. The Chinese, for example, no longer just want to purchase airplanes from Airbus or Boeing in Europe or the USA but produce them in China itself”, said Föhr. “That is why there are now not just Airbus and Boeing factories but an increasing number of component manufacturing operations as well.”With an ever increasing number of aircraft components being made of carbon fibre materials in order to save weight, here too LAP is benefiting: the LAP COMPOSITE PRO laser projection system was specially optimised for the manual production of CFRP components. Working with laser lines is cleaner, quicker and more readily controllable than the templates previously used – that is of enormous advantage for components where faults or contamination can cause materials to fail.Laser measuring systems for the Asian steel industry “China is the world's biggest steel producer”, Area Manager Föhr explains. “In 2013, according to the “World Steel Association”, the Middle Kingdom made 48.5 per cent of the 1,607 million of tonnes of steel produced worldwide. Japan, India and South Korea are also in the Top Ten for steel production.”At the same time, the required dimensional accuracy of rolled steel products is increasing and as far as possible faults in the rolling process or with the product are to be detected before rejects occur. This is where LAP can leverage its experience of more than 250 measuring systems installed worldwide. CONTOUR CHECK laser light section systems check profiles with a round, square, hexagonal, L, T, H or U cross-section; RDMS systems measure the geometry of long products such as wire and bar steel in two to 6 axes; STRAIGHTNESS CHECK monitors straightness. All the systems provide data and displays that enable the rolling mill workers to check tolerances, recognise faults to be part of a trend at an early stage and document finished products for quality assurance.Asian automotive industry as growing sales market for LAP “The rapidly growing automotive industry in Asia is fueling demand for tires as well”, explains old Asia hand Föhr. Many tire manufacturers already use LAP's new SERVOLASER tireXpert. Movable laser modules project colored laser lines in red, green or blue as a positioning aid for the workers on the tire building machines. In automated manufacturing they are used for checking tolerances. The line position is provided by an SPS via a standardized Ethernet/IP interface. “Only someone who understands the peculiarities of the local markets and acts accordingly will be successful in the long run”, said Föhr before concluding, “LAP possesses the necessary adaptability and staying power. That is why we have an optimistic outlook on future developments.”Photo: Laser system with movable laser lines in red, green and blue for use on tire building machines - LAP Servolaser XpertMore information:www.lap-laser.com