Synova, Makino partner for laser microjet technology

Combining Synova's waterjet-guided laser cutting technology and Makino Milling Machine's machine-building prowess will create tools for metal and hard-material processing applications.

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Ecublens-Lausanne, Switzerland -- Synova has entered into an OEM agreement with Makino Milling Machine Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) to manufacture Laser MicroJet (LMJ) machines based on Synova's LMJ waterjet-guided laser cutting technology and Makino's machine building prowess. Target markets for the LMJ machines are high-precision metal and hard-material processing applications, including hard-metal tools as well as consumer electronic goods. The new manufacturing cooperation brings together Synova's long-standing LMJ process application know-how with Makino's machine manufacturing expertise.

Synova's proprietary Laser MicroJet technology is offered as a cost-effective alternative to conventional laser machining and diamond saw cutting for high-volume production of advanced electronic and micromechanical devices in various applications: medical, semiconductor, electronic, automotive, and solar industries, for cool laser cutting of devices such as stents, semiconductors, wafers, thin films, PCD, and solar photovoltaic cell materials.

Lasers used are pulsed lasers with pulse durations in the micro or nanosecond range, operating at 1064 nm (IR), 532 nm (green), or 355 nm (UV). Because the jet is virtually hair-thin, the level of water consumption is extremely low, on the order of 5 L/hr at 300 bars. Pure de-ionized and filtered water at low pressure is used. The nozzles range in diameter from 30-120 μm and are made out of sapphire or diamond, materials with hardness that allows generation of a long stable waterjet.

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