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compiled by Laureen Belleville,

The need for speed
Designed for speed, the NX Series high-performance laser machine from Mitsubishi Laser (Wood Dale, IL; is available in both 4000- and 6000W resonator versions. The company’s patented three-axis cross-flow resonator design delivers high cutting power per watt: the simplified resonator design eliminates the need for expensive quartz tubes and turbine blower systems, optimizes cutting power, and reportedly requires two- to five-times less maintenance than other laser equipment on the market.

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According to the company, the Mitsubishi 700 Series Control achieves high accuracy and provides the ability to produce more complex parts, while dedicated nanotechnology delivers high productivity and high-precision machining. The unit is controlled by a 64-bit PC-based, 15-inch touch screen display. The new structural configuration allows for G-forces of up to 4 Gs or more. A new height sensor is twice as fast as previous machines, allowing for faster cutting.

All-solid-state UV laser

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Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA; considers its AVIA 355-23 the ideal tool for high-throughput micromachining applications, such as dicing and scribing silicon and low-K semiconductors, as well as via-hole drilling in printed circuit boards and flip chips. Other applications include solar cell micromachining, chip singulation, and direct patterning of thin films. The laser delivers more than 23 watts of Q-switched output at 355 nm.

Tube cutting software

A software solution for programming rotary axis laser tube cutting machines, SolidTUBE from SigmaTEK (Cincinnati, OH; enables users to transition from a three-dimensional tube model to NC code generation. SolidTUBE creates a framework for tube cutting that can be loaded and executed in the Solid CAD environment. Intended for a user who is comfortable with Solid CAD programs, it facilitates generation of NC programs without leaving the Solid CAD interface, which eliminates the need to export the design components into a CAM software system for further processing. Other features include automatic detection of machinable features, automatic or manual lead-in/lead-out placement, and 3D simulation of the cutting process.

Industrial series

The Industrial Laser Series from Universal Laser Systems (Scottsdale, AZ; is a line of high-performance, large-format, fully customizable CO2 laser systems that are available with an extended range of platform and power options. Featuring opening side doors for convertible pass-through capability, this laser system can legally operate between CDRH Class 1 and CDRH Class 4 (patent pending). Preliminary specifications include a work area of 36 × 24 inches and laser power from 10 to 150 watts.

Passively Q-switched laser

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The FLARE product series from Lumanova GmbH (Hannover, Germany; features a solid-state, diode-pumped and passively Q-switched laser that emits at 1064 nm with pulse energy up to 1 mJ; conversion to 532 nm and 355 nm is accomplished with nonlinear optics. The hermetically sealed, laser welded, laser head has a footprint of 16 × 7 cm. A TTL input enables pulse triggering for repetition rates to 200 Hz. The microFLARE series offers repetition rates up to 100 kHz at wavelengths of 1064, 532, 473, and 355 nm. Both series are suited for industrial applications such as marking, micromachining, and more.

Replacement nozzles

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CO2 laser nozzles from Laser Research Optics (Providence, RI; are compatible with mechanical or sensor heads and feature ±10 µm orifice size accuracy to optimize cutting performance. Suitable replacements for Prima, Laserdyne, and other CO2 lasers, they can be supplied in 1.2mm, 1.5mm, and 2.0mm orifice sizes. Machined from brass, copper, aluminum, and ceramic, these nozzles are available with straight and tapered tips from 0.375- to 0.96-inch long and thread sizes from ¼ to 5/8 inch. Brass nozzle lock rings are optional.

Fusion splicer

Fujikura Europe Ltd (Tokyo, Japan; announced the launch of a new fusion splicer to support the increasing use of fiberoptics in industrial applications. With Large Diameter Fiber (LDF) splicing capability, the LDF series of products is capable of splicing all types of fiber currently available. According to the company, the new range can perform accurate, reliable splices using an arc fusion technique, therefore eliminating the need for external gas supply. An intuitive graphical interface enables users to program the product’s automated alignment system, reducing user error when splicing complex fibers, such as polarization-maintaining fiber.

CORRECTION: In the August issue article “A promising tool,” (August ILS page 19) we mislabeled the elements in the Figure 1 caption. The caption should read: Lasers for direct processing show rectangular beam profile (bottom), whereas fiber-coupled systems have a round beam profile (top). We regret the error.

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