Compiled by Laureen Belleville,

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Compiled by Laureen Belleville,

Mobile welding

A system for mobile laser deposit welding, the StarWeld Tool Open from Rofin Laser Mirco (Starnberg, Germany; features a weight-compensated cantilever arm and flexibly adjustable positioning axes. The cantilever arm, with a range of more than 1.70 m, brings the welding head in position over the workpiece. Reportedly, the alignment of the positioning axes parallel to the welding seam considerably simplifies the welding operation. The system is controlled by a joystick.

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According to the company, laser deposit welding for repair work does not require any pre-processing and only a minimum amount of finishing. The mold does not have to be removed or transported somewhere else. Repair work is done spot-accurate with minimal thermal load of the workpiece. Additionally, the permanent availability of the system on site helps improve response times in case of design or other modifications.

Air-bearing spindles

The ABS series direct-drive, air-bearing spindles from Aerotech Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA; were designed to provide superior angular positioning and velocity control for applications including disk drive testing, imaging applications, and precision wafer inspection. The ABS2000 is balanced to ISO 1940 G 0.4 tolerances. The design also uses a labyrinth-type sealing to minimize particle migration from the spindle, resulting in certification for Class 1 cleanroom operation. An integral rotary union is provided for a vacuum supply.

Safety window

Laservision GmbH (Furth, Germany; now offers plastic windows for CO2 lasers certified according to DIN EN 207. They are suitable for being built into laser safety housings for process monitoring, for integration in covers of laser marking systems, and for installation in entrance doors of laser laboratories. Frames for the dimensions 100 x 200 mm2 and DIN A4 are also available as an option. The company’s CE-certified cabin windows for CO2 lasers come with an optical density of 6+ and the protection levels D L4 and I L4 in the wavelength range 9000nm to 11,000 nm. As protection against scattered laser radiation, plastic laser safety windows are also available for many other wavelength ranges.

Beam profiler

New from Photon Inc. (San Jose, CA; the USBeamPro is a high dynamic beam profiler and dedicated software package with a USB 2.0 interface. This equipment provides a high level of portability for beam profiling, because a peripheral frame grabber card is not required for this system. Thus, the equipment can be easily transferred to different laptop or desktop computers without the additional step of installing a frame grabber card and the required software drivers into the computer. The beam profiler features a CMOS 2/3-inch format sensor with a 1280 x 1024 active pixel imaging array of pixel dimensions 6.7 m x 6.7 m and an overall array size 8.6 mm x 6.9 mm.

Pulsed laser modules

In a compact casing, the LS/LT series of pulsed laser modules from Laser Components IG Inc. (Hudson, NH; include all features required for safe pulsed diode laser operation. The easy-to-use modules require +5/12VDC operating voltage and a trigger signal. Pulsed diode lasers are integrated at either 905 nm or 1550 nm. At 905 nm the maximum performance spans 5 W to 250 W with a pulse length of 2.5 ns to 1 μs. In the “eye safe” 1550nm spectrum range, 3W to 80W modules are available with a pulse length of 4 ns to 200 ns.

M2 measurement technique

Photon Inc. (San Jose, CA; announces the implementation of a new automated M2 measurement technique for its M2 production measurement tool the NanoModeScan. Reportedly, the product automatically acquires the data and calculates M2 without any user intervention. The algorithm for this new feature is based on the Rayleigh Method of determining M2. The NanoModeScan allows for a broad range of lasers with different wavelengths, different beam powers, and different laser pulse frequencies to be measured with a single measurement tool.

Annealing tool

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The Lambda SX 315C excimer laser from Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA; is designed to reduce costs while increasing both yield and throughput in flat panel display (FPD) manufacturing. The product is optimized for low-temperature polysilicon crystallization used in FPD manufacturing. According to the company, key benefits include achieving high and uniform mobility levels to minimize threshold voltage variations of TFTs; improved production yield through superior laser performance and control; smooth migration of established LTPS circuitry designs; and more.

Nanopositioning actuators

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PI (Physik Instrumente; Auburn, MA; provides the M-2x series of high-precision motorized linear actuators for applications requiring very high resolution, high force, and high speed. The units provide design resolutions to 4 nm, pushing forces to 120 N (26 lbs) and speeds to 50 mm (2 inches) per second. A piezo-tip featuring 1nm minimum incremental motion is available as an option. The self-contained packages consist of a DC or stepping motor connected to a ball screw or lead screw. They also feature a non-rotating tip, which ensures maximum stability and motion linearity.

Direct laser ablation

Exitech Inc. (Sunrise, FL; has demonstrated a direct laser ablation process for creating lenslets that are approximately 10x smaller than the lens in the common housefly. The lenslets measure about three microns in diameter. The PPM-601E system utilizes a high-power excimer laser plus Synchronized Image Scanning technology to produce large-area micro-lens arrays up to 1500 x 1800 mm.

Q-switched fiber lasers

The FiberTower series Q-switched fiber laser marking systems from P.T.G. (Lake Mary, FL; are a safe, alternative for Nd:YAG lasers commonly used for direct part marking applications. They feature a Q-switched fiber laser, scan head, PCI control board, and graphical-based software configured for any application and are also available as a portable handheld system. Turnkey workstations with a programmable Z axis, a rotary indexer, or XY table are standard. Applications include ITO removal, IC chip package marking, 2D symbologies and linear barcodes, OCR code marking, and many other common applications.

Fiber for amplification

Liekki Corp. (Lohja, Finland; has expanded its ytterbium-doped fiber product family with a highly doped, large-mode-area fiber with very high cladding absorption (Yb1200-20/125DC). Typically this fiber is used in lasers for applications in materials processing (cutting, marking, drilling) and others. The fiber features a combination of highly doped, 20μm diameter core, a large core-to-cladding ratio, and an efficient octagonal cladding shape. According to the company, these features result in a cladding pump absorption of 6.8 dB/m at 920 nm and up to 29 dB/m pump absorption near the peak at 976 nm, enabling use of very short active fiber lengths.

Perimeter guard

The M4000 Standard multiple light beam safety device from SICK Inc. (Minneapolis, MN; offers maximum mounting flexibility via three groove housing and swivel mount end caps. It protects a perimeter up to 70 meters with beam spacing of 300, 400, 450, 500, and 600 mm. According to the company, using corner mirrors enables the product to protect up to four-sided applications, such as for an entire robot cell.

Processing plastics

Jenoptik Automatisierungstechnik (Jena, Germany; offers Votan C, a gantry system for the three-dimensional processing of plastic materials. This modular system adapts to the part size in steps of 10 cm. In addition to cutting, the system can be used for perforating and scoring 3D parts. At high processing speed and contour accuracy of <±0.1 mm, parts need no rework. A laser beam, which a gantry system guides in X, Y, and Z directions, processes five sides of the part. In addition, the cutting head can rotate and swivel. The laser beam generates a programmed cutting contour in the part, which is clamped to a specific fixture and remains immobile during processing. Cutting heads with small diameter are available for areas to which access is difficult or for recessed cuts. Laser sources with output from 100 to 300 watts are available.

Low power measurements

Gentec-EO (Quebec, Canada; has introduced the thermopile-based eXtreme Low Power XLP6-S for low power measurement both in μW and mW regimes. Featuring broadband flat spectral response, low thermal drift, and noise equivalent power as low as 1 μW, XLP-S is suited for measuring any pulsed or CW low-power laser.

Fume extractors

The North American distributor for TEKA Filter Technology (Germany), Adapt Laser Systems (ALS, Kansas City, MO; offers fume extraction systems that are specially designed for use with laser cutting, engraving, cleaning, and coating removal as well as soldering/welding and other laser processes requiring vapor and dust control. Features include high vacuum capacity/maintenance-free turbines, adjustable airflow, digital controls, and monitoring systems with easy-to-service separate filters for particles and fumes.

Lens design software

The 6.3.3 release of OSLO from Lambda Research Corp. (Littleton, MA; is available on Windows and Linux platforms (including RedHat 8.0 and SUSE 9.1 Linux distributions). Since the release of OSLO 6.3 last year, the company has had three OSLO releases with more than 50 program enhancements. With the optical industry’s growing use of Chinese produced optical glass, the company has responded by adding Chengdu Guangming’s glass catalog to the OSLO 6.3.3 material database. The software is available for download on the company’s website.

Fiber-coupled laser

Laserex (Unley SA, Australia; has developed a high-power fiber-coupled laser module (HPFC Laser Module), which is suitable for use in microwelding and other applications. Key features include output powers to 25 watts, pulse lengths variable from 1 ms to CW, and wavelengths between 635 nm and 980 nm. Fibers are available down to 100 µm.

Scribing lasers

Domino Printing Sciences plc (Cambridgeshire, U.K.; has launched the S200W and S200WB scribing laser systems for high-quality coding applications. Particularly suitable for PET beverage applications, the compact S200WB uses the company’s blue laser tube technology, which produces a clear, more crystalline code contrast on PET, according to the company. The system can code even thin-walled PET bottles without risk of piercing and is specifically designed for operation in harsh environments. Both systems achieve a mark field of 76mm x 76mm when using a 120mm FL lens.

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