compiled by Laureen Belleville, firstname.lastname@example.org
3D scan system
New from ScanLab AG (Puccheim/Munich, Germany; www.scanlab.de), the intelliWELD 30 FC is a smart and compact 3D-scan system for high-power disk or fiber lasers. While a robot guides the scan system along a part contour, the intelliWELD 30 FC quickly and accurately moves and fine-positions the laser spot. The result is substantially enhanced utilization of the laser source. Spot welds of approximately 600 μm in diameter can be formed within an “elliptical” processing volume of 200 x 240 x 80 mm3.
The dual-pane protective window and the 0.5m working distance both serve to protect the scan objective from welding spatter. The scan system is equipped with a sealed housing and a quick-swap protective window system. Light returning from the workpiece is decoupled from the optical path for potential analysis by additional process monitoring equipment.
A high-performance scanning and laser control solution for IPG Photonics and other fiber lasers, from Nutfield Technology Inc. (Windham, NH; www.nutfieldtech.com), the Fiber Laser and Scan Head Control Kit includes the PipeLine laser/scanner control rack with WaveRunner laser/scanner control software, a SurfBoard USB control card with power supply, and an IPG Laser control/protection board. The kit also includes an XLR8 2-axis packaged scan head.
High-power laser diodes
Laser Components IG, Inc. (Hudson, NH; www.laser-components.com) now offers CW laser diodes at 808 nm with 1000mW power from in-house production. The base material is an InGa(Al) As/GaAs material with a standard wavelength selection of ±3 nm. A power of 500 mW is already attainable at 1.1 A with this highly efficient structure. The laser chip is embedded in a hermetically sealed 9mm CD package. A monitor diode is integrated for performance control and regulation.
The Promaster from Photon Machines (San Diego, CA; www.photon-machines.com) is a compact, turnkey micromachining system powered by a patented “ultra-fast” preionized, excimer laser with short pulse lengths (4 ns FWHM @ 193 nm) and flat beams at 248 nm and other wavelengths. According to the company, high peak powers combined with UV wavelengths significantly reduce HAZ, debris, and reflow, which results in faster, cleaner, and more uniform cuts.
Operating at 1064 nm, the Wedge, from RPMC Lasers Inc. (O’Fallon, MO; www.rpmclasers.com), emits 1.5 mJ of pulse energy at ≤1kHz with 1.5ns pulses for 1MW of peak power. Based on a proprietary electro-optic Q-switch, this compact, air-cooled, diode-pumped laser is insensitive to vibrations and harsh environments. According to the company, replacement laser diodes can be installed in minutes. Optional harmonics are available in 532 nm and 355 nm.
The dual-axis EZHR17EN stepper motor controller + driver from AllMotion Inc. (San Jose, CA; www.allmotion.com) is designed for rapid off-the-shelf implementation in miniature applications. Measuring 1.6 x 1.6 inches, the product provides up to 2 amps drive current for one axis and up to 1 amp for the second with optional second stepper or bidirectional DC driver daughtercard. The EZHR17EN and daughtercard can microstep up to 1/256 and 1/16 steps, respectively.
Alpine Research (Boulder, CO; www.arocorp.com) has two new series of mirrors intended for demanding beam steering tasks in Ti:S ultrafast laser applications. The B-Max series are optimized to deliver a broad bandwidth (>99.8 percent reflectivity from 735 nm to 880 nm), while the E-Max high reflectors are specifically optimized to attain high pulse energy damage threshold. Both coatings are designed to maintain transform limited pulse performance by minimizing group velocity dispersion and third order dispersion.
BFi OPTiLAS (Evry, France; www.bfioptilas.com) and SPI have launched the 200W fiber laser integrating GTWave technology. The increased power version integrates CW or modulated output (up to 50 kHz), programmable pulse shaper, true TEM00 beam output (allowing focusing down to sub-10μm spots), reflection tolerant beam delivery optics, high stability, high reliability (two years standard warranty), high efficiency, and low cost of ownership.
The latest version of Promation’s (Kenosha, WI; www.pro-mation-inc.com) ELM-700AYL laser marking system for PCB marking allows for all standard True Type Windows-based fonts to be used through an easy-to-navigate interface. Additionally, the software allows for easy import of JPEG, GIF, and BMP raster formats and DXF, WME, and PLT vector formats.
The Servo Robot (St. Bruno, Quebec, Canada; www.servorobot.com) Digi-Las laser welding head provides flexibility, productivity, and quality due to its ability to combine seven different functions into one tool. These functions include integrated joint finding, integrated joint tracking, adaptive weld parameter control, robot error compensation, process and system monitoring, and integrated weld bead inspection. The system is compatible with any Nd:YAG or fiber laser interfaced with either a CNC welding machine or welding robot. According to the company, when it is interfaced to a robot, it is perfect for achieving 3D complex joint welding successfully.
SolidCut CAMFlow Director from Camtek (Malvern, Worcestershire, UK; www.peps.com) is a significant new core component in what the company claims are the foundation for next-generation PEPS. According to the company, the product offers a powerful new technology engine suite that includes automated feature finding, knowledge-based feature machining, machine kinematics, toolpath simulation, and CNC code generation. CAMFlow is centered around interactive and clear flowcharting tools that can be used in key areas of the new CAM system functionality.
Aerotech’s (Pittsburgh, PA; www.aerotech.com) PC-based A3200 software machine control system combines from 1 to 32 axes of Firewire distributed motion control with HMI, PLC, and vision-control modules, and is now available with the Nmark galvo control package for vector and graphics based laser marking applications. Two versions of Nmark are available: the Nmark VCT (vector) suits vector laser marking applications where lines, arcs, and circles define the marking path, and the Nmark GRC (graphic) is available for raster-scan based marking.
The TA330 linear three-phase servo drive, from Trust Automation (San Luis Obispo, CA; www.trustautomation.com), can be configured for three-phase DC brushless servo motors using Hall effect sensors, three-phase AC brushless motors using external sinusoidal commutation, single-phase DC brushed servo motors in bridged mode, and brushless linear motors. Reportedly, this 150V, 900W continuous (2700W peak) linear drive can be configured to interface with any motion controller.
The Spectral Shaping Filter from Alpine Research Optics (Boulder, CO; www.arocorp.com) provides a simple route to shorter pulses (5 femtoseconds) from Titanium:sapphire ultrafast amplifiers. This new intra-cavity optic is a dielectric coated filter with a spectral transmission curve designed to precisely compensate for the problem of spectral narrowing due to gain flattening. The optic is available in both 1-inch and 2-inch diameters.
Moulded Optics GmbH (Schoffengrund, Germany; www.mouldedoptics.com) is offering a new line of precision molded micro half-ball lenses from B270, borosilicate, and F2 glass materials available in diameter sizes of 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm with standard, truncated, and extended center thickness. The hemisphere first surface is molded and the plano second surface is ground and polished. Fly’s eye array versions of half-ball lenses are also available.
The 7500 Series FiberStar workstations from Crafford-LaserStar Technologies Corp. (Riverside, RI; www.laserstar.net) feature fiber diode technology that produces a sharp, focused light beam that consistently melts a very small area of metal. According to the company, the benefit of this technology is that little heat is generated at the weld point allowing users to easily weld >0.1mm from complicated and intricate component parts. The workstations are available in 50- and 70W pulse energy levels.
Pump laser modules
The 980nm fiber-coupled pump laser modules from Bookham Inc. (San Jose, CA; www.bookham.com) emit more than 600 mW from a polarization maintaining single-mode fiber. Wavelength stabilization results from a Fiber-Bragg-Grating better than +0.2 nm. Standard wavelengths include 974 nm, 976 nm, 980 nm, and 1060 nm. The modules are offered in a butterfly housing with TE cooler and integrated photodiode.