Interview with Graziano Santarella about MAXI Laser System

Product Stories3 Oct 2022

Leister will be exhibiting the new Laser Plastic Welding System MAXI at this year K 2022 Trade Fair in Düsseldorf. Graziano Santarella is Head of Sales for Industrial Heating and Laser Sytems at Leister, and he kindly shared his thoughts with us for this exclusive interview.

Interview: Silke Landtwing, Corporate Communication Manager, Leister AG, Switzerland


From October 19th to 26th, the K 2022 trade show in Düsseldorf opens its doors to international visitors. What significance does K 2022 have for you personally?

When I started at Leister in 2015, the K-Trade Fair was the first global exhibition I attended with Leister. It is the platform for innovations and new trends. It is the leading show for the plastics and rubber industry. Also, it is a great opportunity for Leister to meet our global customers and partners and to present our newest innovations and developments. This year all our worldwide customers and partners are very welcome to join us in Hall 11 at booth E14 during these 8 days in Düsseldorf. I'm very excited to meet and talk to our customers and partners in person.


Which highlights and innovations are you going to present at the K 2022?

I am very pleased to announce that we will be showing our MAXI laser welding Turn-Key System for the first time. This is a world premiere. The MAXI laser is assembled in a modular way and designed for laser welding of large plastic parts. Applications include the welding of automotive taillights, bumpers, trim or large containers in the automotive industry. The laser welding system can also be used for welding technical textiles, for example for waterproof outdoor clothing or leisure sports equipment.


Tell us more about the MAXI

The laser welding system can be integrated into industrial processes and production lines and can be configured according to customer requirements. The MAXI laser can be tailored to the customer's specific application and equipped with the components required for the process, allowing easy configuration with different laser optics, clamping devices, motion systems, etc.


At the K show, the MAXI will feature a six-axis industrial robot and Leister Globo optics, which enables the welding of complex 3-D parts. During the K show, we will show visitors how to weld the taillights of a car from a well-known German car brand.

What makes the MAXI unique?

Our user-friendly Leister HMI control software makes it easy to configure the parameters of the welding process. In addition, we have upgraded the software so that it optionally displays a 3-D contour during robotic operation. The user is intuitively guided through the work steps and can adapt the welding parameters to suit his own process. You don't have to be an expert in robotics to operate the MAXI.


Which trends do you note in the plastic welding sector?

Laser welding is now an established technology for joining plastics without adhesive or particle residues. Laser welding is a fast, reliable and, clean process. Our newest developments with two-micron laser wavelengths enable us to enter new markets and open up additional opportunities to weld crystal-clear plastics more efficiently in the future. Our large portfolio of welding processes and our know-how make us a reliable partner in the field of medical technology and microfluidic applications. The automotive market will remain important for us. Electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles are equipped with many sensors and electronics that can be welded with minimal thermal and mechanical stress on the components. A third trend we see is the bonding of large components, for which we have developed the MAXI.


You started laser welding many years ago. What is your vision for this industry today and in the years to come?

Laser welding has important advantages compared to other welding technologies, such as minimal thermal and mechanical component stress, contamination-free, visually perfect weld, high precision , and seam strength, to name just a few. Our focus in the coming years is to raise corporate awareness of the advantages of laser welding compared to other joining technologies. We will also invest in expanding our sales force and customer service in Asia-Pacific region countries. Customer focus and fast response times are key factors to success and customer satisfaction. We see many opportunities for us, and we are ready to leverage them.


Thank you for the interesting interview and best of luck at K 2022.

About Graziano Santarella

Graziano Santarella is the Head of Sales for the Process Heat and Laser Plastic Welding division at Leister International AG, which develops and manufactures innovative and powerful laser plastic welding systems, infrared heaters and industrial hot air systems.

He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and a master's in business administration (EMBA) from Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences Zurich. He started his career in the high-precision drive systems industry, where he managed several key customer projects for the aerospace, automotive and medical industries before moving to the plastics and rubber industries.

In 2015, he joined Leister as Sales Manager to cover the European market before moving to the Laser Plastic Welding business line as Head of Sales in 2019. In 2022, he was promoted to Head of Sales for the product groups laser welding, infrared and process heat products.