Laser LT DIH – the technology-based non-for-profit hub established a few years ago as the continuation of FP7 APPOLO project. The HUB integrates the whole concept value chain from identifying problems in existing manufacturing processes and new opportunities, offering potential technology solutions and innovations, testing technologies in industrial-grade laboratories, transferring novel research knowledge to manufacturing directly with a search of funding sources and broad-spectrum services for incubation of new technologies. Laser LT DIH is a single one-stop-shop providing access to the latest photonics related knowledge, experience and technologies to improve businesses by digitalising manufacturing processes, products and services.
The vision of Laser LT DIH is to become the strongest DIH on lasers, photonics and advanced manufacturing in Northern-East part of Europe through the development of three main pillars:
1. Competence in laser technologies (Department of Laser Technologies of FTMC);
2. Business support and access to finance (Science and Technology Park);
3. Access to industry (Laser and Engineering Technologies Cluster - LITEK).
Through cooperation in RTD to develop, validate and provide for manufacturing SMEs the world-class laser and engineering technologies. Services provided by DIH will be research, development, designing, prototyping, validation of technologies and equipment, test-batch production, the attraction of funds, market research, incubation and commercialisation. Pilot lines combining laser technologies with complementary ones are under construction to speed up the technology transfer to SMEs. Tight connections with similar DIHs on laser-based manufacturing and advanced manufacturing is established. APPOLO HUB is an initial point, and new H2020 project on Laser DIH is ready to start. The regional network of DIHs for local industry support is under discussion.
"LaserLT DIH" - technologijomis grįstas skaitmeninis inovacijų centras, įkurtas prieš kelis metus kaip FP7 projekto APPOLO tęsinys. Šis HUBas integruoja visą vertės grandinę, pradedant esamų gamybos procesų problemų nustatymu, naujų galimybių, galimų technologinių sprendimų ir inovacijų siūlymais, baigiant technologijų testavimu pramoninio lygio laboratorijose, technologijų perdavimu, naujų žinių perkėlimu į gamybą, pagalba ieškant finansavimo ir/ar plataus masto infomacijos.
"LaserLT DIH" yra vieno langelio principu veikianti organizacija, suteikianti prieigą prie naujausių su fotonika susijusių žinių ir technologijų, skirtų stiprinti verslą, skaitmeninant gamybos procesus, produktus ir paslaugas.
"LaserLT DIH" vizija yra tapti stipriausiu lazerių, fotonikos ir pažangios gamybos DIH Šiaurės Rytų Europoje, plėtojant veiklą trimis pagrindinėmis kryptimis:
1. Kompetenciją lazerinėse technologijose (FTMC LTS);
2. Konsultacijas ir prieigą prie finansavimo verslui (VšĮ Fizikos instituto mokslo ir technologijų parkas);
3. Ryšius su pramone (Lazerinių ir inžinerinių technologijų klasteris (LITEK™)).
Bendradarbiaujant MTTP srityje, vystyti pasaulinio lygio lazerines ir inžinerines technologijas. Paslaugos, kurias teikia DIH: moksliniai tyrimai, projektavimas, prototipavima, finansavimo pritraukimas, rinkos tyrimai, jaunų įmonių inkubavima ir komercializavimas. Kuriamos bandomosios gamybinės linijos, siekiant paspartinti lazerinių technologijų perdavimą ir diegimą MVĮ. Šiuo metu mezgami ryšiai su panašiais, lazerinėmis ir pažangios gamybos technologijomis grįstais inovacijų tinklais, kur pradinis taškas yra APPOLO HUB, diskutuojamos galimybės dalyvauti regioninėse tinklinėse DIH struktūrose
TESTING LASER APPLICATIONS
Client Profile: Manufacturer of construction materials, e.g. bricks, blocks, mixtures (SME Simpras, Lithuania, www.simpras.lt)
Client needs: Potential applications of laser technologies for clay sintering.
Solution provided: Provided consultations and carried out initial tests on clay samples provided by SME using 3D laser microfabrication equipment.
Client Profile: Manufacturer of construction materials, e.g. PVC profiles (SME EJOT Baltic, Lithuania, www.ejot.lt )
Client needs: Potential applications of laser technologies for polymer welding.
Solution provided: Tests on various laser welding approaches were performed and recommendation on implementations provided.
INNOVATION AND DIGITALISATION AUDITS
Client Profile: Additive manufacturing, restoration of industrial plant components (SME Dangų inžinerijos centras, Lithuania, http://www.dic-solid-coat.lt/ )
Client needs: An audit for the innovation potential of a company: product development, innovation and implementation of sustainable technologies.
Solution provided: Innovation and management processes of the company were analysed, recommendations for technological solutions were provided.
Client Profile: Manufacturing of compact laser sources for spectroscopy and LiDAR manufacturing (SME Integrated Optics, Lithuania, www.integratedoptics.com)
Client needs: A stable electronic circuit board, fluently operating at a high temperature for special applications.
Solution provided: Laser LT DIH provided collaborative research, concept validation and offered a solution by utilised FTMC patented SSAIL (Selective Surface Activation Induced by Laser) technology application to fabricate circuit on the glass substrate. It is a new technology for writing electronic circuits directly onto glass by modifying surface properties with a laser. A pilot batch of circuit boards with SSAIL technology was fabricated. SSAIL technology applied in mass production increases efficiency and being cost-effective.
Client Profile: Manufacturing of fibre-optic communication equipment (SME Lifodas, Lithuania, www.fods.com)
Client needs: The standardised procedure for defect recognition of fibre-optical connectors.
Solution provided: Laser LT DIH conducts collaborative research and concept validation for predictive defect formation on fibres utilising femtosecond laser technologies. A few rounds of experimentations, analysis and validation led to the procedure which could become a standard for calibration of the defect measurement equipment for fibre-optical applications.
Client Profile: Designing and production of extremely high precision laser-based machinery in Industry, Jewellery and Dental (Sisma Spa, Italy, www.sisma.com).
Client needs: Redesigning and optimising of their current product.
Solution provided: Provided consultations. Researchers from the Department of Laser Technologies (FTMC) provided consultation for SISMA by an inquiry regarding redesigning and optimising of their current product.
FACILITATING ACCESS TO FINANCE
Client Profile: A spin-off from the engineering sector (start-up Stairs Up Technologies, Lithuania, http://www.fimtp.lt/bendruomene/)
Client needs: Foster the development of laser welder to prepare for investment.
Solution provided: Experts from Laser LT DIH provided needed consultations, shared their technical expertise. Laboratory for incubation was provided, and end-user (potential client) was found.
COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH ON DIGITALISATION OF MANUFACTURING
Client Profile: Manufacturer of optical glass gratings for measuring and detection systems (SME Precizika Metrology, Lithuania, www.metrology.precizika.lt)
Client needs: Needed technical solution - mass production improvement of flexibility, processing speed and quality. Conventional glass processing techniques such as diamond drilling and dicing, water-jet drilling, sandblasting or ultrasonic processing are still commonly used in mass production, although limitations of flexibility, processing speed and quality required to search for novel technological solutions.
Solution Provided: Laser LT DIH provided collaborative research, concept validation and testing services where mechanical glass processing (cutting/milling) was replaced with laser-based processing. Process development was divided into two main parts – glass processing optimisation and the development of sophisticated algorithms for laser beam scanner control in combination with X/Y linear translation stages. As a result - glass component fabrication time and process were simplified with higher throughput and flexibility for faster and more efficient production. Laser LT DIH has offered access to facilities to a company to test the latest digital technologies – several options of ultrashort pulsed laser systems.
MENTORING AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER
One of Laser LT DIH missions is the transfer of the laser technology knowledge to business and public.
-- In 2014, in Vilnius (Lithuania) Department of Laser Technologies organised APPOLO Project Workshop - New Processes and Opportunities in Use of Laser Technologies in Industry. Applications for laser technologies in the industry was discussed between academia and industry representatives from Lithuania (LINPRA, FTMC, ELAS, Rolands Moisejs, Progressive Business Solutions), Germany (IOM), Poland (IPG Photonics Poland), Finland (LUT) and USA (Naval Research lab).
-- Biannual APPOLO Summer School on Ultra-short Pulse Lasers Applications in Material Processing, organised by FTMC, took place in Vilnius (Lithuania). The school was held at the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology and the Laser and Engineering Technologies Cluster LITEK. Lectures were presented by invited speakers and APPOLO partners. Students presented their experimental results in various ultra-short pulse lasers applications during oral talks and poster presentations. All summer school participants visited Lithuanian laser companies Light Conversion and Ekspla. In addition, they had a tour and discussions to ELAS (laser micromachining system integrator) and laboratories of the Department of Laser technologies (FTMC). 23 students from 7 countries participated in 2017, and 30 students from 10 countries participate in 2019.
-- In 2018, on September 10-14, The International Conference on Photo-Excited Processes and Applications, organised by the FTMC was hosted in Vilnius. During the conference, 163 presentations were presented (1 plenary, 15 invited talks, 53 oral and 94 poster presentations). Scientists from 26 countries participated in the event. The conference guests visited companies Light Conversion, Ekspla and laboratories of the FTMC Department of Laser Technologies.