Laser processing more sustainable

An employee checks the temperature of the TruLaser 5000 laser cutting machine, which can be cooled using only water thanks to the new Eco Cooler. © Trumpf
An employee checks the temperature of the TruLaser 5000 laser cutting machine, which can be cooled using only water thanks to the new Eco Cooler. © Trumpf

At EuroBlech, Trumpf will be showing the Eco Cooler, a new, sustainable solution for cooling laser machines during the cutting process.

Trumpf will introduce the Eco Cooler to the market starting at EuroBlech for the TruLaser 1000 to 5000 laser cutting machine series. © Trumpf
Trumpf will launch the Eco Cooler for the TruLaser 1000 to 5000 laser cutting machine series starting at EuroBlech.
© Trumpf

Conventional cooling systems work with chemical refrigerants, so-called F-gases (fluorinated gases). The cooling process consumes a lot of energy, and the F-gases also pollute the environment when they are disposed of. The Eco Cooler from Trumpf cools the laser cutting machine with pure water. It also saves up to 80 percent energy for refrigeration and completely eliminates pollutants.

According to Trumpf, this solution is unique in sheet metal production to date. “Sustainability is increasingly becoming a competitive factor – also against the background of rising energy prices. To make their production fit for the future, sheet metal manufacturers should use climate- and environmentally friendly technologies. With the Eco Cooler, we support our customers in making their production more energy- and pollutant-efficient. We see the potential here to improve the ecological footprint of our entire industry and save costs in the process,” summarizes Stephan Mayer, Chief Machine Tool Officer at Trumpf.

The company developed the Eco Cooler together with its partner Efficient Energy. The solution will be available for Trumpf laser cutting machines from the 1000 to 5000 series starting at EuroBlech.

Water can be used as a refrigerant for the first time

With the Eco Cooler, Trumpf and Efficient Energy have succeeded for the first time in utilizing the outstanding cooling properties of water as a refrigerant in a series device for sheet metal production. The core principle: the water flows to the heat-generating components such as laser diodes, optics, drives and control cabinets. It cools them down and flows heated back to the Eco Cooler. There, a heat exchanger cools the water in an innovative cooling process of evaporation, compression and condensation. “The Eco Cooler works on the principle of a heat pump. Users can use the technology to optimally regulate the temperature of their heat-generating components during laser processing, as well as the volume flows,” explains Trumpf project manager Andreas Hultsch.

Less costs, more environmental protection

With the Eco Cooler, companies not only save CO2, but also money. On average, energy savings reduce emissions by 15 metric tons per year, which translates into savings of around 10,000 euros. Eliminating F-gases eliminates the cost of the refrigerant as well as another twelve tons of CO2. The solution is suitable for any company that wants to make its sheet metal production more sustainable and also cheaper – from newcomers to smart factory operators. Companies around the world can apply for government funding for this.
The Eco Cooler pays for itself for companies in less than three years, depending on the utilization of the machine and the production rate.

F-gas reduction regulated by law

With this solution, Trumpf is helping companies in the sheet metal processing industry to reduce their consumption of F-gases in line with the Kigali Agreement. The 2016 agreement regulates the reduction of environmentally harmful refrigerants in steps worldwide. To achieve this, the governments of the participating countries are gradually reducing the amount of F-gases that refrigerant manufacturers put on the market by 2048. “Our Eco Cooler is an excellent alternative for companies. It works exclusively with water – the most environmentally friendly, safest and most natural refrigerant of all,” promises Trumpf Product Manager Fabian Staib. The shortage of F-gases is leading to an increase in the price of refrigerants. Companies depend on finding environmentally friendly solutions for cooling their machines.

Facts & Figures

The high-tech company Trumpf offers manufacturing solutions in the fields of machine tools and laser technology. The company is driving forward the digital networking of the manufacturing industry through consulting, platform and software offerings. Trumpf is the technology and market leader in machine tools for flexible sheet metal processing and in industrial lasers. In 2021/22 the company generated sales of 4.2 billion euros with around 16,500 employees (preliminary figures). With more than 70 subsidiaries, the Group is represented in almost all European countries, in North and South America and in Asia. Production sites are located in Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, in Poland, the Czech Republic, the USA, Mexico and China.

Euroblech Hall 26, Booth D51