Mitsubishi delivers first laser micromachining system

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool, a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Tokyo, Japan), has completed delivery of its first ABLASER laser micromachining system, a product developed by the company in its laser machining system business, to a leading Japanese manufacturer of precision instruments. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will expand sales of the ABLASER to the North American, Asian, and European markets.

The precision instrument manufacturer that took delivery of the first ABLASER will use the system primarily for precision machining of very hard or brittle materials. The new system will enable micromachining of difficult-to-cut brittle materials, and by eliminating the conventional need for pre- and post-processing when etching, it will also reduce running costs.

The ABLASER employs an ultrafast laser to machine surfaces to micro-precision and high quality. In combination with a unique optical head featuring a high-precision lens, prism, and other components, know-how for precision machine tools is used to refract and rotate the laser beam at will. With these features, the system has increased shape precision, which until now had been a key target for winning widespread system adoption. By ablating the machining area with high peak power, thermal impact on the area can be suppressed—and in drilling applications, dimensional accuracy and surface smoothness are achieved above the levels possible with electric discharge machining or conventional laser machining. These features enable difficult machining tasks such as conically tapered holes and holes tapering toward the center.

The company is targeting industries where products are projected to become increasingly miniaturized in the coming years, such as automobiles, MEMS, semiconductors, and medical equipment. In these ways, the company looks to respond to new demand for micromachining.

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