IPG Burbach cooling system for laser installation

The Company

IPG Photonics is with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Germany, Russia and Italy, the world's leading manufacturer of high-power fibre lasers and fibre amplifiers for materials processing, telecommunications, medicine and other applications. Since its founding in 1990, IPG has been delivered more than 35,000 units to OEM customers, system integrators and end-users. IPG offers the key products of laser technology: this includes the laser source itself, and auxiliary components such as the beam, coupler and the fibres.


The Situation

Integrated cooling technology as the target

Laser cooling is the key in the secondary task - even with the efficiencies of modern laser systems (between 20 to 30%, depending on the laser version), the remain cooling capacity is very high.

The task of the mechanical engineer Manfred Barz and his five employees is to integrate the now separately installed cooling system into the cabin. "We have so far been purchased the refrigeration from a supplier - but the strategy of our company's founder, Dr. Valentin Gapontsev, is to produce all relevant components ourselves ("Saying No to Outsourcing"). That is why we are producing as far as possible even the cooling.” Generally, IPG provides in-house production depth as one of his trademark, which ensures high product quality. Furthermore, the company is more flexible and more independent from other suppliers - looks very similar to Grundfos.

The challenge for Manfred Barz and his team: The integrated cooling modules need to provide a very high cooling capacity and build as small as possible. 


The Grundfos Solution

Submersible pumps for different cooling circuits

In general, there are submersible pumps from Grundfos series SPK and MTH who are integrated in the two different cooling circuits of IPG’s laser systems: The MTH-pumps are working mostly in the laser cooling system for cooling the laser source (here the cooling medium is untreated water, a cast iron pump fits). The SPK-pumps is integrated in the cooling circuit for cooling the optical fibre coupler, beam and fibre plug, where de-ionized water is used as a heat source and a stainless steel pump is required.
Important is the modular design of the submersible pumps. That makes it easier to offer customized units. According to this IPG can choose from the multitude of components, materials and variants to design a pump for their particular tasks.

Grundfos Direct Sensors™ for the integrated cooling modules

For two years, IPG Laser is also using Direct Sensors™ of Grundfos to measure pressure and temperature in their system. Background: The integrated laser cooling module is placed inside the cabin. The laser protection class of the cabin doesn’t allow connecting external sensors. 

The built-in sensor solution from Grundfos is the perfect solution for us to continue monitoring the pressure and the temperature of the coolant.
Manfred Barz, Mechanical Engineer


What is new about the Grundfos Direct Sensors™ technology? It is a silicon-based 3-in-1 sensor, which detects the flow, the pressure or differential pressure. In addition, the temperature is measured. The special feature: The new sensor technology is not only a very small but extremely robust and is suited for use in harsh industrial environments.

In addition to the applications in the pump technology, Grundfos Direct Sensors™ are specially designed for industrial and OEM sector. Due to the measuring combination of flow and temperature this sensor is ideally suited for the detection of heat or cooling quantity.


The Outcome

IPG is satisfied with the services offered by Grundfos pumps and sensors to most. The goal is, as Manfred Barz mentioned, to serve all IPG Laser worldwide with cooling technology “Made in Burbach”. It comes into play, that Grundfos as a global manufacturer offers its own sales and service organization with affiliates in more than 50 countries. Service and spare parts supply is ensured by covering all major markets.

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