Excimer laser system
The IX-1000 ChromaLift excimer laser system from JPSA Laser (Hollis, NH) is intended for LED lift-off applications in the compound semiconductor and wafer fab industries. Reportedly, LED lift-off promises to eliminate wafer scribing by enabling the manufacturer to grow GaN LED film devices on the sapphire wafer, for example, and then transfer the thin-film device to a heat sink electrical interconnect. The IX-1000 ChromaLift homogenizes the laser beam profile and fires through the back of a sapphire wafer to de-bond the GaN LED device and transfer it to a substrate where it can then be packaged onto a heat sink and/or optical reflector. Capabilities of the system include large-area-per-shot, either step-and-repeat or fire-on-the-fly, of up to 1cm ¥ 1cm area. Different laser powers allow different fields of view: high pulse energy option 8mm ¥ 8mm up to 1cm ¥ 1cm at 50 sites per second; 5mm ¥ 5mm up to 100 sites per second; and 3mm ¥ 3mm up to 200 sites per second and so on. The system includes PC-controlled power meters and beam profilometer, and automatic door Class 1 system, and industrial-grade reliability with R&D flexibility.
The ChromaLASE 488 blue laser from Blue Sky Research (Milpitas, CA) is a semiconductor frequency-doubled 488nm laser that delivers 20mW output power with superior beam point and power stability in a single, compact assembly. The unit requires 12W input power and requires no external power conditioning, control boxes, or cooling fans. The laser system is designed to operate from 5V DC and includes a thermoelectric cooler and drive-control electronics. Output power is variable, and a DB9 electrical connector enables users to remotely control the laser.
Fiber-coupled laser modules
The first high-volume products available from Blue Sky Research's (Milpitas, CA) FiberTEC line are the FiberTEC 405, a 405nm violet laser with 15mW output power, and the FiberTEC 635, a 635nm red laser with 25mW output power. Additional wavelengths and configurations of 440nm, 473nm, 658nm, 690nm, and 785nm are available in sample volumes. The complete FiberTEC line of fiber-coupled lasers will consist of UV, violet, blue, green, red, and near-infrared versions, and includes polarization-maintaining fiber and beam-collimating optics options.
Trumark software for the VectorMark product line from TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) works with Windows software using a true 32-bit format. Reportedly, the software speeds up laser marking setup times and cycle times. The software's database contains laser parameters for many common materials. Easily managed using a tree structure, laser parameters for each material can be dragged and dropped from the library to a specific CAD part file. The software also can manage multiple laser processing sequences as easily as single laser parameters.
FAST Laser (Flow Accelerated Screen Technology) from Hypertherm Inc. (Hanover, NH) utilizes a patent-pending design to create a dual-flow zone that allows significantly higher oxygen-assist gas pressures in the tightly defined cut zone established by beam geometry. The accelerated high-velocity oxygen flow along the beam path increases cut speed by fueling the exothermic reaction. It also reduces sensitivity to common plate fabricating conditions and variables, including plate chemistry and condition. The Hypertherm LH2100 laser cutting head offers two focal lengths: 7.5 and 10.0 inches. The LH2125 adds a 12.5-inch focal length option for thicker plate.
The DS Series of UV (351/355nm) diode-pumped, solid-state Q-switched lasers from Photonics Industries International Inc. (Bohemia, NY) provide a large range of pulse energies, pulse repetition rates, and pulsewidths. The series delivers M2 <1.1 and up to 20 watts TEM00 profile. The lasers are offered in a choice of Nd:YLF, Nd:YAG, and Nd:YVO4 platforms.
Schneeberger Inc. (Bedford, MA) has added the Formula-S-Cage Assist Solution to its line of Frictionless Tables (slides). This cage-centering mechanism eliminates cage creep and is available with the company's Type NK and NKL precision linear motion slides. Based on a rugged rack-and-pinion design, the Formula-S reportedly eliminates cage creep in linear motion applications with accelerations up to 15Gs.
Flatness measuring kit
Machine beds, rollers, web assemblies, X-Y stages, and mechanical slides can be precisely checked to 0.0005 inch for flatness and adjusted with the MG-2000 Laser Flatness Kit from Pinpoint Laser Systems (Newburyport, MA). The use of a narrowly focused laser beam and new digital receiver technology enable measurements to be made in industrial environments over distances of 80 feet or more. The system comprises a precision laser that is supported on a rotational mount, allowing the laser to be manually turned for aiming the beam. A locking mechanism and micrometer adjustment allow for fine angular control.
New from Alpine Research Optics (Boulder, CO) is a comprehensive line of dichroic coatings and beamsplitters for use in separating the various harmonics of solid-state lasers. ..The standard product line includes short-wave pass and long-wave pass optics optimized for 1064nm, 523nm, and 266nm operation. These flat optics are intended for first surface operation at 0- and 45-degree incidence and have a high-efficiency, anti-reflection coating on the second surface. The 1064nm and 532nm beamsplitters use optical-grade fused silica substrates, and the UV beamsplitters are fabricated on UV fused silica substrates.
Unitek Miyachi's (Monrovia, CA) LW5AM pulsed Nd:YAG microwelder is designed specifically for joining tiny, mechanically and thermally delicate devices such as those found in the medical device and photonics manufacturing industries. According to the manufacturer, the air-cooled device offers excellent energy control and pulse-to-pulse stability essential for process robustness and reliability. The high beam quality of the laser allows for the use of 100-micron core fiber-optic delivery cables, which provides the user with an ultra-fine spot.
The ClearFlo System from Mokon (Buffalo, NY) continuously filters heat transfer fluids, removing particles as small as 10 microns, without disrupting system operation. In addition, it reduces deterioration of rotating parts, including pump rotors, impellers, seals, valves, and stems. The ClearFlo Plus System filters the cool oil reservoir and removes particles as small as 1/10 micron to reduce fluid contamination and water build-up, minimizing shutdowns caused by water vapor pockets.
Oxford Lasers (Littleton, MA) has launched the range of DP100 diode-pumped, solid-state laser micromachining systems. The company has supplied 532nm and 355nm systems for medical device manufacture and research applications. It also offers systems with 1064nm output for microdrilling and cutting of metals and with 266nm output processing plastics and glass materials. The company offers three standard system platforms with a fully integrated and interlocked workstation and PC-controlled multi-axis part-handling with options such as trepanning heads, optical taper correction systems, galvo scanning systems, and automated vision alignment systems.
Capable of controlling temperature based on either room or machine temperature, the Durachill industrial chillers from PolyScience (Niles, IL) are available with cooling capacities from 17,732 to 273,600 BTU/hour. Standard features include air or water cooling, 1 1/2 to 25 HP compressor, one-touch temperature control with LED readout, digital pressure/flow rate readout, flow meter, stainless-steel pump, and remote on/off capability. The new chillers also feature integral temperature, pressure, and flow rate alarms to alert the user instantly to potentially harmful process conditions.
Lot tracking software
The optional lot tracking feature of FastPic4 inventory management and control software from FastPic Systems (Westbrook, ME) enables metalworking users to link part numbers to lot numbers for effective inventory traceability and accountability. The software is designed to manage virtually all manual and automated storage-and-retrieval systems, including shelving and racks, pick light systems, horizontal carousels, and vertical storage devices. The software can also manage multiple work zones where several different types of storage-and-retrieval systems are used in a single operation.
Danaher Motion (Cleveland, OH) offers the Thomson TC Series of robust and reliable precision actuators. Models include TC2, TC3, TC4, and TC5 rod-style actuators. The easily programmed actuators are available with a choice of stepper, servo, or DC motor with drive/controller for compatibility with every motion control environment. The products are designed for a broad range of capabilities from light thrust loads handled by the TC2 through heavy thrust loads up to 5620 pounds handled by the TC5. They feature stroke lengths through 60 inches, speeds up to 52 inches per second in four ranges, and repeatability to 0.0005 inch.
The main role of the SD275 from Nyden Corp. (San Jose, CA) is to accept pulses and direction signals and generate phase currents when paired with most 2-phase and 4-phase stepper motors. According to the manufacturer, its main advantage over other DC drivers is its high-powered input capability ranging up to 6 amps of continuous current per phase. The product is designed to be universally modular to facilitate a variety of machine design requirements and adapt to a range of applications during quick equipment start-up or reprogramming.
The Thomson Electrak 1 long-life actuator from Danaher Motion (Cleveland, OH) is a compact, light-duty DC actuator that delivers high performance under adverse conditions. The actuator is equipped with fixed mechanical limit switches and an 80,000+ cycle capacity. Available in 2-, 4-, and 6-inch stroke lengths, the product is equipped with an acme screw drive that delivers 75 pounds of force at a minimum extension speed of 0.6 in/s.
Angle control system
The Copra LaserCheck system from data M Software GmbH (Oberlaindern, Germany) is a device for press brakes controlling bending angles via laser. The unit determines the exact bending angle for press brakes by a built-in semiconductor laser with line optics and 1/3-in CCD camera combined with a force-detecting sensor. Four sensors can be linked to one system, which enables producers of large sheet metal parts to determine bend angle for the entire surface.
UV imaging lenses
Multi-element UV imaging lenses from JPSA Laser (Hollis, NH) are intended for high-resolution and largefield-of-view ..
materials processing applications. The lenses include doublet, triplet, quadruplet, and six-element objectives. The company provides custom design and assembly of high-performance imaging objectives for mask imaging materials processing applications. It also stocks various lenses for 248nm processing as well as a full range of doublet objectives for 193nm.
Intended for removing heat loads from sensitive equipment and processes, the Model 3370 recirculator from PolyScience (Niles, IL) boasts a 13,640 BTU cooling capacity at 20 degrees C and can handle liquid temperatures as high as 77 degrees C. The product's positive displacement pump circulates fluid at 5.6lpm to the equipment, back into a reservoir, and through a fan-cooled radiator, which removes heat. A built-in low-liquid level indicator safeguards the reservoir and circulation system.
With the help of a CMOS camera, installed coaxial to the laser beam, the PD2000 Welding Monitor from Prometec Inc. (Plymouth, MI) gathers in-process information during the fabrication process from the location of the laser weld. This process makes it possible to optimize the performance of a welding laser while also verifying that the user has welded a quality seam. The CMOS camera enables the user to view user-configurable image areas of any desired size. The camera image is evaluated based on specific "features" characteristic of certain process properties, such as penetration depth, full penetration, and gap width.
Rotary axis design
Strippit/LVD (Akron, NY) has introduced a new rotary axis design for its Impuls 4030 laser cutting system. The enhanced rotary axis provides controlled manual or automatic support to improve tube-cutting operations. According to the manufacturer, new support mechanisms and upgraded software enable users to manually or automatically position the support device during the cutting process. When processing long tubes, both automated and manual support can be employed.
One-piece plug-and-play Laser BGL sensors from Balluff Inc. (Florence, KY) feature pre-aligned optics integrated into a family of metal fork-style bodies, enabling fast, accurate installation without the need for special brackets or complex beam alignment procedures. The product uses a Class 2 laser delivering precision resolution to 0.03mm. The laser sensors are available in 30mm, 50mm, 80mm, and 120mm sizes. Operating on 10-30V DC, the sensors are protected against short circuits and reverse polarity and are user selectable between normally open or normally closed operation.
A new line of DryRunner anti-friction precision linear bearings from Schneeberger Inc. (Bedford, MA) is free of organic lubricants, sulfur-containing solid lubricants such as MoS2 or WS2, and is also free of soft metal coating lubricants. According to the company, the product runs dry for more than 100 million overruns.
Linear motor stage
The ALS1000 compact, high-performance stage from Aerotech Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) is both accurate and versatile. It provides a small cross section, small payload capacity, cost-effective alternative for precision applications where a small footprint and environmental protection are required. A linear motion guide bearing system, two-axis internal cable management, and high-performance brushless servo motor make the product appropriate for applications such as industrial laser machining.
Coated lead screws
Lead screw, linear rail, spline shaft, and ScrewRail actuator assemblies from Kerk Motion Products (Hollis, NH) are available with Kerkote TFE coating. According to the manufacturer, Kerkote reduces friction and extends the life of its cost-effective, maintenance-free assemblies, which are intended for motion control applications in a variety of industries.
Optran Plus 0.28 and 0.30 high numerical aperture fibers from CeramOptec (East Longmeadow, MA) offer exceptional performance from 160 to 1200 nm (Optran Plus UV) and 350 to 2500 nm (Optran Plus WF). Core sizes for stock fibers range from 100 to 600 µm, though custom sizes and custom-designed bundles and ferrules are offered.
Digital cutting centers
Beam Dynamics (San Carlos, CA) offers a new line of digital cutting centers designed for shops manufacturing graphics, signs, overlays, or labels. The Lumen's laser cutting techniques and machine control systems enable it to rapidly and precisely cut all commonly used graphic materials, including Mylar, adhesives, polycarbonate, acrylic, sheet metal, paper, Styrene, and Lexan. The Lumen DCC combines a 250W sealed CO2 laser with digital workflow tools. The DCC-9000-PA includes a barcode reader and automatic pallet exchange table.
Typical processing speeds for the powerSCAN 50, from Scanlab AG (Puchheim, Germany) are specified at 2.7 rad/s. The unit also features a 50- mm aperture for small spot size and large image fields. In combination with the company's varioSCAN 60 dynamic focusing unit, the laser beam can be quickly and precisely focused within working volumes, allowing non-flat workpieces to be processed. The mirrors and the varioSCAN's optics are air cooled, while the scanners, electronics, and varioSCAN are water cooled.
Processing flexible circuits
The FlexPro series of laser systems from Preco Laser Systems LLC (Somerset, WI) is designed for laser processing flexible circuits and other thin materials. According to the manufacturer, the system offers the speed of galvanometer processing with the versatility of an XY motion system. This allows for larger sheets and part sizes to be cut with higher precision and better cut quality. System features include automatic tiling, field of view adjustability, programmable vacuum control , and a job database. Available in two models, FlexPro's applications include kiss cutting, via drilling, through cutting, and scribing in a variety of thin flexible materials.
Alpine Research Optics (Boulder, CO) has introduced a new series of high-performance polarizers for use with Nd:YAG and Nd:YVO4 lasers operating at 1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm, and 266 nm. The unique feature of these polarizers is that they are designed to operate at 68 degrees angle of incidence. Reportedly, this enables the production of a coating with a higher extinction ratio (>500:1) and broader spectral bandwidth (approximately five percent) than coatings designed for operation at Brewster's angle (approximately 56 degrees), while maintaining a high damage threshold (20 J/cm2 for a 10ns pulse at 1064 nm).
The MicroLine 300 non-contact measurement system from Micro-Metric Inc. (San Jose, CA) is now available with Windows 2000 capability. The product provides manual critical dimension measurements for semiconductor wafers and photomasks. It measures features from 0.5 to 40 µm in size using a 100X objective lens and up to 800 µm at 5X. The product consists of a high-quality microscope, computer, and imaging components working in conjunction with the company's software for image analysis, autofocus, and auto-illumination.
High-voltage power supplies
The MHX family of modular high-voltage power supplies from HiTek Power (Santee, CA) are for use in systems powered by 24V DC supplies. Applications include insulation and materials testing and electron and ion beam acceleration.