Ditzingen/Schramberg, Germany – High-tech company TRUMPF is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its laser technology site in Schramberg. Today, this facility in the Black Forest – the second-largest TRUMPF location in Germany – employs over 1,400 people including physicists, engineers and software architects.
Together, they develop, manufacture and maintain laser systems that are used in numerous industries all over the world.
“Schramberg is the hub of German industrial solid state laser technology,” says the site’s managing director, Hagen Zimer. “We started out producing spiral springs for the watch industry – now we supply state-of-the-art laser technology for global applications including e-mobility, display manufacturing, smartphones and tablets.”
From its humble origins in the Black Forest, the company has become a shining example of German industrial manufacturing. The idea of using light as a tool was still in its infancy when the Schramberg engineers came up with the idea of building laser systems to spot-weld watch springs.
This was swiftly followed by the introduction of laser-based processes for cathode-ray-tube manufacturing and pacemakers, eventually culminating in TRUMPF’s breakthrough use of solid state laser technology in automotive production.
Accolades for Schramberg technology
“Over the years, we’ve demonstrated time and again that we are an industry trendsetter that knows how to respond to change and meet its customers’ needs,” says Zimer. Development engineers in Schramberg played a key role in developing ultrashort pulsed laser technology and ramping it up for industrial use. These systems are an efficient choice for processing hard materials such as glass and sapphire, as well as solar cells. In 2013, TRUMPF received the prestigious German Future Prize together with representatives of the Bosch technology group and Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It was presented by the German President in recognition of their achievements in taking ultrashort pulsed laser technology to an industrial scale.
Full order books lead to expansion of production facilities
At the heart of Schramberg's success is its expertise in disk lasers. Offering outstanding performance and reliable operation, this type of laser is the ideal choice for multiple applications, especially in automotive production. Soaring demand for e-mobility solutions helped swell TRUMPF’s order books and fueled the need for greater production capacity in Schramberg.
“We’re determined to keep up with this growing demand for the laser technology that Schramberg specializes in. That’s why we invested 80 million euros in new development facilities, cleanrooms and production facilities at the site over the past five years,” says Zimer.
Zimer believes Schramberg is perfectly positioned to tackle the challenges that lie ahead: “We’ve spent decades accumulating expertise and always been open to adopting new technologies. That’s given us the agility we need to adapt to new requirements and respond quickly to our customers’ needs. And our flexibility is enhanced still further by our truly exceptional research and development capabilities.”
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