Portable laser marking

June 23--Compact Laser Solutions (CLS) of Germany has developed an A4-sized, battery-powered laser marking device that weighs 6kg and can be used to permanently tag and verify parts already in service.

Available as a portable laser head that delivers up to 10 W of CW 1064nm emission, or up to 5 W of 532nm output, the unit's control box is no bigger than a CD walkman. The Berlin-based firm claims that its air-cooled laser is practically maintenance free and comes with a rechargeable battery pack, giving up to one hour of continuous laser marking.

"The laser can [even] cut thin metal sheets," Thomas Parchmann of CLS told the Photonics Forum audience at Laser 2005 World of Photonics in Munich. "It also gives the opportunity for welding plastic or synthetic materials."

Dubbed Nucleon, the company offes the marking device complete with a CCD camera and scanning system that recognizes barcodes and 2D data formats. As Parchmann explained, the set-up is perfect for large maintenance programs where components that are already in service must be marked in the field.

Due to begin production later this year, CLS plans to launch its portable unit in January 2006.

This information is excerpted from and Institute of Physics Publishing article, www.optics.org.

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