In May 2016 an agreement was signed between Laser Wire Solutions and Schleuniger – a $160 million turnover company and part of the Swiss stock listed group Metallzug AG ($961.8 million turnover, 2017 published accounts).
This agreement gave Schleuniger a 20% shareholding in Laser Wire Solutions and access to laser wire stripping capabilities to complement and add to their range of mechanical wire processing systems. Laser Wire Solutions in return were able to leverage the global sales network of international agents and distributors of Schleuniger to further advance the sales of their products.
The collaboration also has had a technological impact, resulting in new product development and new opportunities to address different applications, particularly in the automotive sector, where Schleuniger has a strong foothold. The electric car revolution, for instance, presents a huge opportunity for the partnership. This is because of the large amount of aluminium cabling that is used and which cannot be stripped with a blade as it is too sensitive to nicking. This is where laser wire stripping comes into its own as it is a self-limiting process. What this means is that the laser cuts the polymer insulation but reflects off the underlying conductor, leaving it intact. Laser Wire Solutions has now developed a new rotary laser solution (Mercury-6) which allows the stripping of even larger gauge, multi-layer electric cables used in electric vehicle manufacture. Read more about the application of laser stripping in electric vehicle manufacture.
One of the first joint product design projects was the development of the Mercury-4 – a high performance, bench-top laser wire stripper that is extremely versatile in its functionality and is very price competitive. It rapidly strips all types of polymers in all sorts of configurations.
And as of May 2018, an agreement was reached to allow Schleuniger to market and sell all Laser Wire Solutions products. Currently a fast-track program of training and product marketing is underway so that Schleuniger reps and service engineers are able to identify, leverage and convert laser wire stripping opportunities across their customer and prospect database.