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Compiled by Laureen Belleville, laureenb@pennwell.com

Welding station

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The CAP-TURE air filtration solution for robotic welding cell enclosures can be purchased from Frommelt Safety Products (Milwaukee, WI; www.frommeltsafety.com) as a platform complete cell or as modular components. The cell comes with roll down safety interlocking doors, fencing or fixed panels, fume hood, fume exhaust, and controls. According to the company, this integrated cell concept can be modular in design to relocate in the plant and flexible enough to offer any loading style of parts as necessary. The company can design a custom platform with all required hole dimensions to mount the user’s robot or provide a simple mounting area for tooling.


Wavelength division multiplexer

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Combining red, green, and blue light in varying intensities of the signal can produce practically any color desired. The wavelength division multiplexer from OZ Optics-distributed by AMS Technologies (Martinsried/Munich, Germany; www.ams-technologies.com)-offers a cost-effective solution to combine the light of different input fibers to one single-mode or polarization-maintaining fiber. For those who provide their own lasers, the company can offer fiber coupling with high coupling efficiency and long-term stable output characteristics. The company also offers a line of already-fiber-coupled diode lasers in various colors.

High-speed marking/micromachining

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The Osprey Series of diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 lasers from Quantronix (East Setauket, NY; www.quantronixlasers.com) are configured for short Q-switch pulsewidths (~10 ns) yet maintain excellent average power stability and mode quality (M2<1.2). According to the company, high pulse repetition rates (up to 200 kHz) combined with the Q-Mark X-Y galvo-scanner and Design Commander software makes the product well suited for high-speed marking and micromachining. Efficient optical coupling between pump diodes and the unit’s gain medium allows 10 watts output power operation without liquid-cooling heat removal.

The company’s proprietary high-efficiency, intracavity frequency-conversion design is employed in the 532nm and 355nm versions, which are used for micro-hole drilling, glass marking, CTO patterning, sapphire cutting, and other micromachining applications where the heat affected zone must be minimized.

Gantry

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Each axis of the Anorad (Shirley, NY; www.anorad.com) Hercules Gantry can be ordered with either iron core or ironless (zero-cogging) linear servomotors. Both motor types are available in three coil lengths for various application power requirements. The lower, Y axis, can be specified with either single- or dual-motor actuation to optimize throughput. Standard X-axis travels are available from 250 to 1000 mm and Y-axis travels range from 250 to 1000 mm. These travels can be mixed and matched to meet user requirements. Rugged, high-resolution optical encoder options (0.1 to 5.0 µm per count) are standard along with high-flex strain-relieved cables bundled in modular cable carriers.

Cutting machines

The TLZ series of CO2 three-axis laser cutting machines from NTC America-Laser Group (Farmington Hills, MI; www.ntclaser.com) provide cutting areas of up to 40,000mm (1575 in./11 ft per minute) along with traverse speeds of 100,000mm (3937 in./328 ft per minute) in the X and Y axes, and 60,000mm (2362 in./196 ft per minute) for the Z axis. Laser power options include 2.5, 3.3, 4.5, and 6.0 kW that, when coupled with flying optics and options such as a non-contact gap sensor, side gas assist, and auto focus, assure cutting integrity. The TLZ-408 provides a 2500mm x 1250mm cutting stroke while the TLZ-510 model has 3100mm x 1550mm axis movements, and both have a 100mm vertical stroke of the optical head.

Measurement tool

NanoMode Scan, a tool to measure M2 and other beam propagation characteristics of lasers, is available from Photon (San Jose, CA; www.photon-inc.com). M2 is a key parameter determining laser quality and performance. This tool enables users to measure a broad range of lasers with different wavelengths, different beam powers, and different laser pulse frequencies. Reportedly, a complete M2 measurement can be generated in seconds. The process is compliant with ISO Standard 11146.

Five-axis laser system

Designed specifically for precision percussion and trepan drilling of turbine engine blades, nozzle guide vanes, shrouds, and similar size components, the Laserdyne Model 450 five-axis laser system from Prima North America Inc. (Champlin, MN; www.prima-na.com) incorporates the design principles of the “Laserdyne 2X Systems.” The system is controlled by the Laserdyne S94P laser process control and also features Optical Focus Control (OFC), BreakThrough Detection, and Active Optical Sensing (AOS). The system configuration consists of three linear (X, Y, Z) and two rotary (A, B) axes mounted on the X-Y axes. The workpiece and associated fixturing are mounted to the direct drive A (rotary) axis that in turn is positioned using a precision gear drive rotary table. It features a Convergent Lasers P50L pulsed Nd:YAG laser mounted outside the work area.

Integrated pressure wheel

Scansonic (Berlin; www.scansonic.de) has developed a single-sided, force-controlled pressure wheel for its laser brazing (ALO1) and laser welding (ALO2) systems. In comparison with its pneumatically driven counterparts, the company claims the advantage of this product is the extremely precise and infinitely adjustable control over the applied force that makes it suitable for use with outer-skin applications in car body manufacturing. In addition, the company says the pressure wheel suffers no occurrence of the so-called stick-slip effect. It has been designed for 100- and 180-mm wheels.

The company also announced that the patented principle of the ALO of controlling the seam tracking via the filler has been enhanced by an integrated force control system. Reportedly, with the ALO2 it is now possible to weld using thinner wire sizes (approximately 0.6-0.8 mm) or using soft filler wires, such as aluminum.

Short-pulse laser

Luce-an air-cooled, 10W, TEM00, 1µm, short-pulsed laser from Bright Solutions (Italy) and distributed in North and South America by RPMC (O’Fallon, MO; www.rpmclasers.com)-is ideal for marking, micromachining, medical, spectroscopy, and lidar applications. At 10 kHz the laser has approximately 5ns pulses and at 100 kHz they are <20ns. There are two enclosures attached by an umbilical. The pumping unit houses the diode laser and the pump power is fiber delivered to the resonator unit. The laser employs a proprietary technique to make the short pulses. The lightweight resonator unit (2.5 lb) enables users to put it on a robot or into many other configurations.

Excimer system

J P Sercel Associates (JPSA; Hollis, NH; www.jpsalaser.com) offers the high-throughput IX-3000 system, a Class 1 UV excimer-based laser step-and-scan ablation system for micromachining, drilling, and laser processing of a wide range of materials. Surrounded by a cleanroom enclosure with HEPA filtration, the system is capable of operating at 248 nm or 193 nm UV wavelengths primarily; however, the user may choose from a variety of laser types depending upon the application. Optical resolution, repeatability, and structural accuracies are sub-micron with 0.2 to 0.3 micron repeatability.

Pump laser for fiber lasers

The LU0975T040 laser module from Lumics (Berlin, Germany; www.lumics.com) delivers up to 4W output power from a multimode fiber. The company offers this laser in an uncooled TO220 package coupled with a 100/125µm multimode fiber with a numerical aperture of 0.22.The fiber is terminated with a standard 2.5mm diameter ceramic ferrule. FC/PC or SMA connectors are optional. Target applications include Erbium Ytterbium fiber lasers and Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers.

Power and energy meter

New from Spiricon Power Products Inc. (Logan, UT; www.spiriconpower.com) for the measurement of lasers and other optical sources, the Universal Meter for Power and Energy (MPE-2500) interfaces to thermopile, pyroelectric, semiconductor, and temperature probes. In conjunction with the meter, the company provides a selection of 55 probes operational in a variety of modes. The unit features a digital readout, analog bar, and dynamic graphs on a high-resolution backlit LCD screen.

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