New 4kW laser enters fiber laser market

Milpitas, Calif. – JDSU has announced that it has collaborated with Amada, a manufacturer of machine tools for metal fabrication, to develop a new high-power 4 kW fiber laser. The fiber laser has been integrated into a new sheet metal cutting system that Amada plans to start selling to the Japanese market in May 2011, followed by a global market introduction in June 2011. According to Amada, the new system will provide the fastest linear cutting speed available worldwide.

The new 4 kW fiber laser provides the ability to cut materials such as copper, brass, titanium, and non-metals that cannot be cut effectively with traditional CO2 lasers. Combined with the Amada high-speed linear drive system, thin sheets of stainless steel and aluminum will be cut at a linear speed that is 2.5 to 3 times faster than cutting speeds achieved with traditional CO2 -based cutting systems.

Metal processing is one of the largest markets for lasers, with fiber lasers gaining traction in recent years. Industry analyst firm Strategies Unlimited estimates that the laser market for kilowatt materials processing will grow to more than US$1 billion by 2013.

Fiber lasers offer several additional benefits over CO2 and solid-state lasers for sheet metal processing applications, including:

  • Flexible beam delivery via a process fiber
  • Significantly reduced electrical power consumption
  • Reduced footprint
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Ability to focus the beam effectively from a long working distance

"Amada’s long-standing machine tool design and manufacturing expertise combined with JDSU’s telecom-grade diode and fiber laser technology have enabled us to design a fiber laser that is not only cost effective, but that also provides industry leading performance and reliability," said Ken Lo, VP and GM of commercial lasers at JDSU.

"The strong collaboration and complimentary expertise of the teams at Amada and JDSU have been instrumental to developing the new 4 kW laser," said Mr. Naoki Orita, corporate officer and director of the Research Laboratory at Amada. 

Amada plans to preview its new sheet metal cutting system including the new 4kW fiber laser at the EuroBlech Sheet Metal Exhibition in Hannover, Germany, from October 26-30, 2010.

To view a video of an Amada sheet metal cutting system that includes a fiber laser based on JDSU technology, please go to: http://www.jdsu.tv/video/FOL-Ftest.mov.

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