Cable management system
Robolase Solutions (Farmington, MI) introduces the E-Z Whip System for robotics, a cable management system providing a reliable, cost-effective solution for robotic Nd:YAG laser processing. The system is a complete package that includes TRUMPF and Rofin generators and utilizing standard beam and delivery fibers coupled with cutting or welding heads.
The system's spine is composed of a resilient material that gently twists and bends with the manipulation of the cutting or welding head, maintaining the minimum bend radius for cables and hoses. It is a robust, low-maintenance product that reduces Nd:YAG laser fiber optic cable breakage caused by robotic articulation and the additional mass to the fiber (cutting/welding heads, sensor cables, hoses). The system controls and manages cables, preventing them from hooking on robot wrist and tooling apparatus during manipulation.
Flexible manufacturing cell
Finn-Power International, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) has introduced the LPE high-precision flexible manufacturing cell (FMC) that combines a 6-axis, servo-motor driven E5 turret punch press, the latest-generation CO2 laser, and an automatic loading, stacking, and unloading robot to provide punching, marking, tapping, nibbling, upforming, bending, and laser cutting, all in one machine.
The LPE is designed for high-precision applications and allows forming heights to 0.62 in., with forms made by the die moving upward and then retracting, allowing free sheet movement and eliminating scratched or jammed sheets. A robot loads, stacks, and unloads sheets and parts and places them in designated finished part locations.
Solder bonded optics
LaserPro (Walnut, CA) introduces the PermAlign™ solder bonded optics technology. Designed for use with the Laser Pro Stellar Mark I-series, the new technology features two optical lenses that reflect light inside the laser head to accumulate energy to emit laser light, thereby eliminating lens displacement from vibration. Each optical lens in the laser is aligned using precision tools and is permanently solder-bonded into position, fixing the optical components inside the laser on a firm, solid platform to avoid unnecessary downtime resulting from beam drifting and mode and power changing in the production line.
High-performance galvanometer scanner
SCANLAB (Pucheim, Germany) extends its galvanometer product range with the dynAXISR L, ideal for 20–30 mm mirror apertures, resulting in the smallest focus diameters in large image fields. This unit forms the basis of SCANLAB's hurrySCAN® 20 and hurrySCAN® 25 scan heads for applications such as welding, soldering, and electronics manufacturing, as well as marking applications requiring maximum focus quality.
Pinpoint Laser Systems (Newburyport, MA) introduces a 2-axis laser microgage that operates on batteries. Designed for use on the production floor to check and improve running efficiency of equipment, the microgage combines a compact laser transmitter with a digital receiver and display to provide a readout of motion, accurate to 0.001 in. The kit includes a swiveling base and a 90° laser beam bender that forms a perfect right angle with the laser beam for checking machine tool alignment, adjusting the mechanical actuator, assembling complex fixtures, checking roll parallelism, and other related applications.
A broad selection of high-performance Durachill chillers are available from PolyScience (Niles, IL). They come equipped with user-adjustable temperature, pressure, and flow rate alarms as well as automatic condenser pressure cutouts. Other standard features include digital microprocessor temperature control and large, easy-to-read LED temperature and pressure/flow rate displays. These chillers are highly reliable, suitable for process temperatures from 32–86° F, and can maintain set point temperature with ±2.0° F stability.
Laser nano sensor
LMI Technologies (USA) (Detroit) has introduced a high-speed, high-accuracy Laser Nano Sensor featuring a miniature sensor head and extremely small spot size for use in small work envelopes in high-tech industrial applications ranging from micropositioning to thickness and roughness measurement. The sensor uses auto-focus principles with a resolution as fine as 0.7 nanometer at speeds to 200 kHz, and boasts one of the fastest response rates in the industry as well as spot sizes ranging from 1-6 microns, allowing for displacement measurement within a few nano meters on quantifying surface roughness of any highly reflective surface that can be positioned perpendicular to the laser beam path.
Available in four standard models, the LNS sensor has a measuring range from 0.00016 to 0.005 in. and operating distances from 0.09 to 1.0 in. Accuracy ranges from 0.0022 to 0.75 nano meters, depending on the target.
The sensors operate in temperatures from 32–120° F and can be used in conjunction with various machines and robots, or can be custom-designed for OEM applications.
Thermal surface absorbing head
The new 3A Thermal Surface Absorbing Head from Ophir Optronics, Inc. (Wilmington, MA) is designed for use in applications requiring very low power and/or energy measurements on lasers. Additional features include a spectral range from 0.19–20 µm, a power noise level of 2 µW, ±3% accuracy, and digital power scales of 3W/300mW/30mW/300µW for power and 2J/200mJ/20mJ/200µJ for single pulse energy.
All of Ophir's thermal heads have one high-damage threshold and can supply CW and single pulse measurements from 60µW-3W and 15µJ-2J. All Ophir thermal, photodiode, and pyroelectric detectors are compatible with the Laserstar series displays.
Highest pulse energy available
Photonics Industries' (Bohemia, NY) DM40 diode-pumped Nd:YLF Q-switched green lasers offer high pulse energy at high repetition rates in a compact, reliable, hands-free system. The DM40 offers pulse energy of 40 mJ at 1 kHz and 527 nm, the highest efficiency and pulse energy at kilohertz pulse rates commercially available.
Also available, the DS Series UV (351/355 nm) diode-pumped, solid-state Q-switched lasers provide a range of pulse energies, repetition rates and pulse widths, beam mode quality with M2<1.1, and up to 20 W TEM00 profile and are available with Nd:YLF, Nd:YAG, and Nd:YVO4 platforms. Typical output performance includes pulse-to-pulse instability of less than 1% rms.
Motion solution catalog
New from Anorad (Shirley, NY), the "Anorad Precision Motion Solutions" 180-page catalog showcases Anorad's line of precision positioning products ranging from multi-axis air bearing platforms and precision gantries, to single-axis linear and rotary stages, individual linear motors, controls, and Anocast™ polymer composite bases. Anorad's global capabilities, examples of its custom solutions, and an illustrated application engineering guide also are featured.
Flexible integration tool
Danaher Motion (Wood Dale, IL) introduces a new flexible tool that simplifies integration of positioning slides into automated assemblies. The Thomson Piloted RediMount™ innovative mounting system allows Thomson Slides to easily mount, horizontally, vertically, inclined, or inverted, to nearly any motor, with guaranteed alignment.
The Thomson Piloted RediMount™ eliminates the need to research, confirm fit, or specify interface dimensions between a positioning slide and the motor of choice. The slide part number and manufacturer and part number of the motor to be used are all that need to be specified, and the mating motor interface will be customized for a given frame size at no increase in lead time or price.
Smallest linear ball-screw stage
Aerotech's (Pittsburgh) new ATS125 series linear ball-screw stage is its smallest hardcover, side-sealed linear stage for high servo bandwidth and smooth velocity, reducing the overall footprint and enabling its deployment in space-constrained applications. Features include travel up to 600 mm, speeds to 600 mm/s, a side-seal design with hardcover, low cost/high performance, an integral brushless rotary motor, and standard and precision-grade options.
According to the company, coupling a brushless motor to the ball-screw eliminates the flexible coupling typically present in screw-driven stages, provides a stiffer system with higher servo bandwidth, and improves system reliability by removing a component susceptible to failure. The integral slotless motor, enclosed in a modular subassembly, provides ultra-smooth velocity due to the complete absence of torque ripple and can be easily replaced in the field.
Ultra-speed stencil and mask manufacturing
Synova SA (Ecublens, Switzerland) offers a new machine designed to provide stencil and metal mask manufacturing with an ultra-speed tool using the Laser-Microjet technology. The LSS cuts 1-20 holes/sec with no heat damage, burrs, or oxidation in working areas up to 900x1200 mm. A second laser head can be added, doubling throughput. Characteristics include high mechanical precision (less than ±5 microns); a 2.5 ton granite structure; low running costs; fast and precise fixation of stencils (with or without frames); a reliable laser source; and adaptability for high accuracy requirements.
Mark metal and plastic parts
Borries Marking Systems (Ann Arbor, MI) has introduced a diode-pumped laser marker requiring less than 20 W of power and less water cooling than lamp-type units for marking metal and plastic parts and tags. An optional BC6 controller is available to control handling mechanisms. The unit is contained in an air-conditioned cabinet and is controlled by a PC with Pentium III microprocessor with linked Windows® programs to provide visualization of data, machine status, and process sequence for comprehensive machine control.
Near-IR absorbents for medical applications
The near-IR absorbents used in Gentex Corporation's (Carbondale, PA) Clearweld process for laser welding plastics meet requirements of USP Class IV testing conducted by NAMSA™, an independent testing organization for the healthcare industry.
The Clearweld process employs coatings and resins to provide unique color and design flexibility in laser-welding clear and opaque plastics and produces strong, hermetically sealed welds with minimal thermal and mechanical stress, no particulates, and little flash, making it ideal for medical device applications.
United Air Specialists, Inc. (Cincinnati) has introduced the Model BDC series compact, self-cleaning collectors for manufacturing dust collection in eight series sizes. The series features pulse-jet cleaning technology, minimal pressure drop, and multiple filter options allowing 99.99+% filtration efficiency. The series is designed as modular units with multiple filter options, safe maintenance features, improved energy savings, and compactness, and provides 500-7000 ACFM filtration capacities.
Coherence correlation interferometer
Taylor Hobson (Leicester, UK) has introduced the Talysurf CCI 3000A Coherence Correlation Interferometer, which sets new standards in 3D surface analysis with a 0.1 angstrom measurement resolution. The instrument combines the surface imaging quality of a microscope with the high-accuracy measuring capability of a surface profiler, resulting in precise 3D surface texture, step-height, and micro-dimensional measurements. The instrument can analyze polished, rough, specular, or scatter components between 0.3 and 100% reflectivity and a wide range of materials.
Mark hard-surface medical instruments
Censis Technologies, Inc. (Franklin, TN) has introduced Censitrac™ technology to permanently mark hard-surface surgical instruments for individual instrument tracking. Censitrac is a web-hosted, subscription-based solution using patented technology to mark and track each instrument or other component used in an operating room.
A new two-dimensional permanent data matrix, CensisMark is a thermally activated symbol applied by low-power laser marking that permanently bonds marks on virtually all hard surface materials without surface damage, can be applied in seconds, and can be read in milliseconds. The standard 2.5 x 2.5 millimeter size mark can be customized to meet requirements of instruments with smaller readable areas.
High-performance cold plate capability
Lytron Inc. (Woburn, MA) has introduced a high-performance, vacuum-brazed, cold plate capability based on its aluminum extended surface technology that is highly reliable, leak-proof, and not susceptible to corrosion. Performance is close to that of conventional vacuum-brazed plates, and for some configurations is significantly less expensive. The cold plate can be matched precisely to customers' thermal requirements, can provide distributed cooling over the whole plate surface, or can be configured for localized cooling.