The pro-beam Group is a global leader in the field of electron beam technology.
We offer services and systems for the electron beam welding, hardening and micro-drilling as well as solutions for the coating of surfaces.
Additionally, pro-beam is operating in the field of additive manufacturing for metal components.
Thanks to our expertise as a development partner, we understand the ins and outs of efficient production processes. Customers from over 40 countries have been trusting pro-beam solutions for over 45 years.
The global company is represented by five locations in Germany, China and US with more than 430 employees. The headquarter is based near Munich, Germany.
As an electron beam (EB) specialist, pro-beam offers contract manufacturing from individual components to series production as well as plant engineering and services for industries including aerospace, automotive, engineering, medical engineering and science. Our services and systems guarantee secure and reliable connections as well as durable products. Advantages of our EB welding process include easy automation, flexibility, high efficiency, maximum precision and high welding speed.
It can be operated using any external pro-beam electron beam generator and is available with turning/swiveling/lifting equipment that ensures the precise seating of workpieces (<30 µm). The optionally available gate shuttle system allows evacuation as well as loading and unloading while the process is running, which increases productivity and availability.
The wire feeder equipment allows welding with additional material and the development of 3D printing applications. The system is optionally available with turning/swiveling/lifting equipment.
The K 40 welding system can be operated with any external pro-beam electron beam generator. The optional equipment with a gate shuttle system allows evacuation as well as loading and unloading while the process is running to further increase productivity and availability.
This system requires less space thanks to its small footprint. In addition, relocation of equipment is easy, as all elements are mounted on one frame. This helps to facilitate transport and installation.
The standard equipment comes with a turning device for the processing of small, medium and large cylindrical components. The system is also available with an optional gate shuttle system for loading and unloading of components during production to increase productivity and availability.
Guilin, China / Gilching, Germany, May 17, 2022 – The pro-beam Group, one of the world's leading companies in the electron beam technology segment, and the Chinese company Guilin Shida Technology Co., Ltd. (THD), expert in electron beam plant engineering, have concluded an international joint venture agreement. Within the scope of the merger, the joint venture company THD-pb Power-Beam, which will serve the Chinese market in a much more targeted manner, has been launched.
pro-beam electron beam technology Suzhou Co., Ltd., a company of the pro-beam Group, is a contractual party in the new company. The pro-beam Suzhou company has been operating in China since 2005 and offers typical electron beam solutions for companies that range from contract manufacturing to plant engineering. The objective of this joint venture is to further expand market presence and position the company to better meet the needs of Chinese customers regarding electron beam systems. Starting in May 2022, this newly founded company, with headquarters in Guilin, China under the name THD-pb Power-Beam, will become a national provider of high-performance electron beam systems.
German and Chinese know-how from one source
This joint venture builds upon the respective strengths of pro-beam and THD, utilizing their inherent synergies and combines the expertise of both partners. “pro-beam will be providing the company with its know-how and its technology regarding the electron beam welding process. More specifically, this includes high-performance 60, 80 and 150 kilovolt generators as well as the adjoining system equipment,” explains Dr. Thorsten Löwer, Managing Director at the pro-beam Group. The Chinese partner brings its knowledge regarding the construction of electron beam systems along with its excellent market expertise as well as the ability to supply system chambers in sizes ranging from 0.1 m³ - 300 m³.
THD-pb Power-Beam will be one of the first Chinese companies to be able to offer its customers electron beam systems with 150 kilovolt generators with a short delivery time as well as a good price-performance structure. These newly designed systems will be solely distributed by THD-pb Power-Beam and the company will also provide the corresponding customer service.
“We are delighted at becoming the technology leader in China with THD at our side. Our future plans include continuing to expand the Chinese market in a partnership and on equal terms,” says Nicolas von Wolff, Managing Director of the pro-beam Group.
“Both companies have been acquainted with each other for more than twenty years and have continually been involved in technological exchange. The launching of this joint venture is a consequent strategic step for pro-beam so that it can further expand its international market leadership,” explains Markus H. Kepka, Chairperson of the Advisory Board and CMO of the pro-beam Group and Supervisory Board of THD-pb Power-Beam.
THD has been operating in China for more than thirty years and offers its diverse customers vacuum systems along with electron beam welding systems. The company is very well acquainted with the local customer requirements: “The merging of both our companies is based on many years of commercial partnership and is the answer to the high demand for high-performance electron beam systems in China. We look forward to many successful years together,” says Mo Lilin, CEO THD and CEO at THD-pb Power-Beam.
pro-beam Suzhou: Expanding the international business
The pro-beam Suzhou company owns a 35 percent share in THD-pb Power-Beam with the option to increase this share to 48 percent. As an independent company, pro-beam Suzhou will also be focusing on international customers while offering high-end “Made in Germany” systems in future. In addition, the service range in the area of contract manufacturing, which includes electron beam welding, micro drilling and additive manufacturing, will also be expanded. THD owns a 65 percent share in THD-pb Power-Beam.
Virtual conclusion of an agreement
In the face of the Covid pandemic, the joint venture was concluded primarily via virtual negotiations. “This is certainly a bit unusual, but it only underlines the long-term relationship of trust between the parties involved,” says Nicolas von Wolff.Further reading
In addition to welding, the pro-beam portfolio also includes micro-drilling.
Here the e-beam provides both round and geometrically flexible openings. A significant advantage of the electron beam is its ability to process all metallic materials, including titanium, as well as thermally highly stressable alloys - with a thickness of up to 6 mm.
Also, the beam can be used to drill through conductive ceramics. For micro-drilling pro-beam relies on automation, so that all process parameters can be measured and controlled completely electronically.
This leads to a fast, precise and reproducible perforation of workpieces and simplifies the production of large quantities.
These advantages make electron beam drilling an efficient and cost-effective technique in the production of industrial filters, screens and centrifugal discs.
Pre-heating of the material can be useful for ensuring the easy processing of metal components, e.g. for electron beam and laser beam welding as well as for surface technology processes.
For this reason, the electron beam specialist pro-beam includes both e-beam systems as well as machines that ensure the efficient and fast heating of metal components in its portfolio. For this, the company relies on the low-frequency magnetic field technology Uniform Magnetic Heating (UMH), which is used to uniformly heat the workpiece with a high penetration depth.
The smallest UMH system named S-Line is characterized by its compact and modular design with optional upgrades. The heating of workpieces is possible in parallel to loading and unloading. At the same time, a tool change is not required for up to three different workpiece interior diameters. It has also been possible to further reduce the auxiliary processing time because of this and other upgrades to the UMH systems.
Another advantage for customers: Thanks to the high efficacy, less energy is consumed. And material usage is also optimized, leading to additional cost savings.