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ECO COOLER COOLS LASERS PURELY WITH WATER
The Eco Cooler from TRUMPF does completely without F-gases and saves up to 80 percent energy.
When Martin Krämer looks out the window of his office, he sees green meadows and dark fir forests. Krämer lives and works where others go on vacation. On a Black Forest farm, surrounded by beautiful countryside, in the middle of the Kinzig Valley. However, there is no sign of tranquility in the production area adjacent to his office. There is a hustle and bustle. "With the first laser, manufacturing really took off for us," says Martin Krämer, laughing. Krämer is the owner and managing director of Krämer Brennteile, a contract manufacturer for sheet metal processing. He adds, "The laser has changed everything for us. Laser cutting is very fast and you can do an incredible amount if you get the processes around it right. We've managed to do that successfully so far, and that also means that everything is moving a little faster." And that is almost an understatement, as a look at the rapid development of his company shows.
In 1996, Martin Krämer took over his father's agricultural and forestry farm and converted it: Instead of cattle, since 2002 there is a flame-cutting machine in the former barn. This was the start of his self-employment. Word spreads quickly and more and more orders came in. In 2009, four full-time and seven part-time employees are already working on the Krämerhof. And Martin Krämer realizes that if he wants to continue to serve his customers in the best possible way, he can no longer avoid lasers. At the Blechexpo trade show, he saw the TruLaser 1030 from TRUMPF and bought it right off the booth. The easy-to-operate machine enabled him to get started in laser processing and accelerated the rapid development of the family business. Today, a TruLaser 5030 fiber stands in the production hall which was built in 2019 and 41 permanent and part-time employees ensure fast and reliable order processing.
Despite all the growth, Krämer remains firmly rooted in the region and primarily supplies local customers within a radius of around 70 kilometers with small batches of one to 25 parts. This regional connection goes hand in hand with a keen awareness of sustainability: "We live and work here in the middle of nature and strive to do our part to preserve it as best we can," he says. When TRUMPF asked if Martin Krämer would be interested in testing the new Eco Cooler on his laser machine, he was immediately hooked. This is because the laser cooling system does not use any harmful chemical refrigerants. Instead of using fluorinated greenhouse gases, known as F-gases, it works with distilled water. F-gases are commonly used as refrigerants but are extremely harmful to the climate. And the Eco Cooler has another advantage: it uses 50 to 80 percent less energy than conventional cooling systems. It works like a heat pump. In a closed circuit, the water cools the heat-generating components of the laser system, such as laser diodes, optics, drives and control cabinets.
The heated water flows back into the Eco Cooler, where it is cooled again by means of evaporation, compression and condensation. Fabian Staib, Product Manager at TRUMPF, summarizes: "The Eco Cooler represents a sustainable alternative for companies. It works exclusively with water - the most environmentally friendly, safest and most natural refrigerant of all." That's becoming increasingly important as governments around the world gradually reduce the amount of F-gases that refrigerant manufacturers put on the market leading up to 2048. Hence refrigerants are becoming scarcer and therefore more expensive.