Host Introduction

Coherent is one of the world’s leading photonics manufacturers and innovators. With headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, and offices spanning the globe, Coherent offers a unique and distinct product portfolio that touches many different markets and industries. Corelase Oy has been part of Coherent since 2018 and in summer of 2020 Coherent’s fiber laser operation was located in Tampere, Finland. The designated facility was named as “Center of Excellence for Fiber Lasers”. Fiber lasers themselves have been produced at this location since 2003. Coherent Tampere will act as a host for this challenge.

The Background

At the moment Coherent Tampere hosts the Center of Excellence for Fiber Lasers for Coherent. The Center is the source for all Coherent HighLight™ fiber laser series, comprising industrial high-power fiber lasers with output powers ranging from 1,000 W to 10,000 W and a wide range of beam qualities. From Tampere one can find Coherent’s applications lab featuring the full range of Coherent fiber lasers, industrial welding heads, and related state-of-the-art analysis tools for weld seams. 

The goal for Coherent and especially the Tampere facility is to provide precise and accurate welding outcomes for their customers around the world. But how could Coherent develop their current technology to bring more value to the customers and maintain their competitive advantage? To answer these questions, Coherent Tampere aims to grow the supply of the laser welding offering by creating the laser welding system of the future for their customers. This system would utilize data collected not just about the welding itself, but also about the welding object and its surroundings before, during and after the welding. There is a lot of potential for this kind of data and optimization, which could lead to great improvements in customer value,  enable more customizable solutions and even service based business models. 

The Challenge

Currently, lasers produce data but it’s stored in the memory of a single laser instead of a platform from where it could be utilized for measuring and optimizing the welding process or even the whole welding system containing multiple welding cells in a production line. 

To take some concrete steps towards the laser welding system of the future, Coherent is now looking for partners that could help define and build the smart ecosystem around the laser, based on advanced collection and utilization of data, new kinds of software solutions and integrations as well as artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning, neural networks, swarm intelligence). New and innovative ideas about possible solutions are encouraged.

The ultimate goal is to bring more value to the customer with a more precise and adaptive welding system. Through this innovation challenge, we are inviting potential partners and experiments that could contribute to building the platform for and the ecosystem around smarter lasers. The aim is to investigate the following questions:

  • How could data from single lasers and welding cells be collected and utilized to adjust the parameters and optimize the welding in single or all the welding cells?
  • Where should the data from different lasers be collected to?
  • How could we enable lasers to utilize learning and adaptability in addition to adjustability?
  • What elements and insights are necessary and useful for building the smart laser platform? Where to start?

Coherent Tampere is looking for partners, who could design, implement and/or provide AI enabled solutions for welding/lasers, in addition to above mentioned questions. 

Available resources

To help the teams during the challenge, the host has reserved some key people (mentors) and resources to support your work. There will be Host’s experts on fibre lasers and process mechanics available for sparring.

Timeline

  • Applications close – 11th of May 2021 16:00
  • Applicants informed about the selections – by 21st of May 2021
  • Briefing session (online, mandatory) – 1st of June 2021, 14:00-16:00
  • Co-creation Days (all online, mandatory) – From 7th to 9th of June 2021 
  • Final presentations – 10th of June 2021, 14:00-18:00 (short session for presentation + closing session, online)
  • Proof-of-concept phase kickoff (mandatory for best teams chosen by jury) –  TBD, week 24

Who can apply

Apply with a team of 2-3 people, ideally combining diverse skills and backgrounds in the team. The team must represent a company or other such entity that can drive the design and implementation of their solution during and after the Challenge. All applications will be reviewed and all applicants will be informed after the deadline. 3-6 teams will be selected to join the challenge. You may only apply by submitting the Industryhack web form.

Expected commitment for selected teams

During the challenge, the teams will develop and conceptualise their suggested solutions together with Host’s mentors. The teams are expected, in minimum, to work on the challenge during the co-creation phase by investing an estimated 3 days of their time per team member. The aim of the contest is to find one or two relevant concepts that can be validated in the proof-of-concept phase. The team that is chosen to the proof-of-concept project will be paid the agreed budget to deliver the project.

The challenge will be organised under Industryhack Terms of Participation v20210112. The poc project’s agreement will be made with Industryhack’s poc agreement template, in accordance with the spirit of the terms mentioned above. The template will be shared with the winning team(s).

TERMS oF PARTICIPATION

Team selection criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on team composition, initial approach and contribution to the combination of selected teams. The following criteria will be used to identify 3-6 teams with best potential to succeed in co-creating and proposing an interesting solution.

  • Depth and variety of skills and experience relevant to the challenge
  • Team’s motivation and ability to work together
  • Team’s motivation and ability to partner with the host
  • The relevance and maturity of the team’s preliminary ideas, solution or approach
  • Correct understanding of the challenge
  • Participating teams will be chosen so that the approaches and team compositions complement each other and represent a variety of viewpoints to the challenge

Rewards

Each team that is selected to the co-creation days will be paid a reward of 1500 eur for taking part in the challenge. Rewards are paid against invoice after the team has presented their solution at the end of co-creation days and provided their materials and feedback after the challenge. After the co-creation, the best team(s) chosen by the jury are expected to work on their proof-of-concept (POC) project, building and testing the POC together with the host. The project will have a budget of 20-40 000 euros paid by the host. More detailed scope and cost of the project are designed during the challenge and in the POC project’s kickoff.

In case you have any questions, feel free to contact Satu Huotari (satu@industryhack.com).