Queens U. spinoff addresses inline laser management for welding, drilling

Ontario, Canada - A new company spinoff from Queens U. aims to commercialize industrial laser technology to directly measure and control depth in laser welding and laser drilling.

Laser Depth Dynamics, spun out of the PARTEQ Innovations not-for-profit IP arm of Queen's U., was awarded a $100,000 fellowship from the Ontario Centers of Excellence for seed funding over the next two years to bring a commercial product to market. The technology has been recognized with more than $800,000 in development funding from PARTEQ Innovations, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Ontario Centers of Excellence.

The technology, developed by Paul Webster and Professor James Fraser, applies a spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) technique to investigate the inline process characterization of laser welding and drilling, to get quick view of depth movement during processing. It was a well-received invited talk at this year's iCALEO. (Here's an older overview of the technology.)

"Tools are only as good as we can understand and control them," stated Webster. "The demand from industry for improved competitive manufacturing capabilities is insatiable -- even advanced technologies like lasers are hitting their limits. Our products add the final dimension of control that will unleash the full potential of laser tools."

ILS has been in contact with Paul Webster since ICALEO 2011, and we are scheduling a feature article on his work for early 2013.

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