Research on welding with solid-state lasers was the starting point for further development in the 1990s. This also led to industry-standard technologies and system components for laser beam soldering in the body shop.
Laser beam soldering was also successfully tested and implemented. Once it proved necessary to remove the classic rooftop duct through the transition to a zero-joint on the roof for design and aerodynamic reasons, the joint connection could only be realised in the field of view with a laser beam soldered seam.
The first industrial implementations of laser beam soldering in mass production can be found in the tailgate of the VW Passat and Mercedes SLK. The rationale for using laser beam soldering on the tailgate had to do with design requirements, as well as with demands for various license plate wells in different markets. Laser beam soldering was used shortly thereafter in the VW Bora.
The technology has been applied according to component requirements, meaning that, laser beam soldering was specifically used where the greatest benefits were. This was particularly the case for the field of view, as using filler metal allowed an exceptional seam quality.
Scansonic IPT GmbH , now a leading supplier of system solutions for laser beam soldering, was founded in 2000, extensively leveraging inpro’s prior work in the field.