compiled by Laureen Belleville, email@example.com
Fine fiber lasers
With a high beam quality, the JK Fiber Lasers from GSI Group Laser Division (Rugby, UK; www.gsig.com) deliver to manufacturers exceptional control and accuracy when micromachining, welding, and cutting. The lasers feature single-mode fiber beam delivery and FiberPierce technology, which reportedly has been shown to significantly reduce the pierce time of thin metallic materials by almost one-half compared to standard CW operation. These passively cooled devices reach more than 300,000 hours, or 37.5 years, MTTF and lifetimes of up to 100,000 hours MTBF. Using a low power density at beam exit, the patented JK Luminator fiber delivery system offers a high level of protection against back reflection without compromising beam quality. Process tools include right-angled welder and cutter heads, diffraction-limited optical performance, fine laser-focus adjustment, and co-axial gas assisted delivery.
Fine spot diameter
The robust and compact fiber lasers of the StarFiber series from Rofin (Starnberg, Germany; www.rofin.com) achieve a nominal power of 100 or 200 watts. Pulse shaping and power control, which are based on open and closed loop technology, provide precise and reliable pulse processes. The laser control is based on the Rofin Control Unit (RCU) and allows precise power control, dependent on the travel speed among other things. All system functions can be simply and efficiently operated via color TFT touch screen with graphical menu navigation and integrated help functions.
A new fiber laser system from Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA; www.newport.com) operates in the ultraviolet wavelength range and generates picosecond laser pulses. It can perform processes such as cutting, dicing, scribing, and ablation with high precision and less damage to the material and has applications in the microelectronics and industrial markets, including semiconductor, solar cell, and flat panel display manufacturing.
3kW SM laser
IPG Laser GmbH (Burbach, Germany; www.ipgphotonics.com) has released a commercial three-kilowatt continuous-wave Ytterbium single-mode fiber laser. It is designed for deep penetration welding, remote welding and cutting, percussion drilling, and fuel cell welding. The new laser does not require operation in vacuum conditions and provides excellent beam quality, according to the company. Additionally the product is intended for thick plate cutting and welding and percussion drilling as well as for use on high-strength metals used in the auto industry.
Highlight for materials processing
The Highlight series of multi-kilowatt diode laser based systems from Coherent (Santa Clara, CA; www.coherent.com) offer output of 4kW and higher (at 808 nm) and are intended for a variety of metals processing tasks, including heat treating, cladding, conduction mode welding, and brazing. The products feature high reliability and are available as both turnkey systems and individual component modules. Options include a variety of free space beam shaping and beam delivery optics, as well as custom accessories, such as cladding nozzles, to enable process optimization.
As a single-mode fiber laser, the TruFiber 300 from TRUMPF (Schramberg, Germany; www.trumpf-laser.com) has a laser power of 300 watts and is best suited for precision cutting and welding. The product achieves a beam quality of M2 < 1.1. Due to the separate layout of laser module and supply unit, the laser module can be easily integrated into any system. More than 20 meters can separate the supply unit and the laser module. Up to three laser modules can be connected to one supply unit. According to the company, this product is qualified for the precision welding of batteries, hard disk mountings, pacemakers, sensors, electro-mechanical components, and thin sheets and foils. Cutting applications include thin sheets, stencils, stents, or cell phone casings.
Laser Direct Imaging (LDI) materials manufacturer Huntsman Advanced Materials (Everberg, Belgium; www.huntsman.com) has introduced the Probimer 77 LDI solder mask and Probimer 355 LDI liquid resist for image transfer. The former has been developed to meet future requirements of solder mask clearances of 25 microns and below. It enables PCB manufacturers to produce fine pitch designs of lower than 0.4 mm on large production panel sizes. The later has been developed to be used in inner-layer production or for applications where tenting is not required. Reportedly, the resist has an excellent LDI capability using low-exposure energies. Both can be exposed using LDI equipment or standard exposure equipment.
Newport Corp.’s Spectra-Physics Lasers Division (Mountain View, CA; www.newport.com) introduced the Solstice one-box ultrafast amplifier. This product has an output average power of more than 2.5 W at 1 or 5 kHz, high contrast pulses of less than 100fs, and a high quality beam (M2<1.3). It includes the Mai Tai ultrafast laser and the Empower pump source. To further enhance system performance, the amplifier module leverages the company’s expertise in industrial lasers, including its Eternalign optical mounts. For industrial users, the high average power ensures maximum throughput in applications such as micromachining.
Precision machining lasers
Features of the Innoslab lasers from EdgeWave GmbH (Wuerselen, Germany; www.edge-wave.com) include flexible beam profile, M2 <2 beam quality, short (4ns) pulse length at high pulse repetition rates (100 kHz), pulse energy up to 30 mJ, and average power up to 200 W. Typical applications include marking, cleaning and polishing, solar cell processing, mould tool manufacturing, wafer scribing, and high-throughput subsurface engraving and high-speed glass processing.
The Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH; www.e-ci.com) CL-6 laser cutting system offers greater performance for the money with an upgrade to a new GE Fanuc C200E “Level UP” resonator. The resonator puts out 2500 watts for superior cutting speeds to the previous 2000-watt model, yet at the same price, electrical input, and chiller load. The system is available in 4 x 8 and 5 x 10 ft table sizes, with the option of dual interchangeable pallets. It can productively cut a variety of metals as well as wood, acrylic and plastics, rubber, and fabrics.
Remote monitoring for digital scanning systems
The Smart Direct Digital Interface Protocol and the Smart Connect suite of performance monitoring tools from Cambridge Technology (Lexington, MA; www.camtech.com) provide remote monitoring of real-time laser scanning performance. A broad range of real-time system parametric performance data can be reported for system performance optimization and control, and long-term performance monitoring can be verified and monitored over the Internet so that even the most remote system locations can now benefit from factory-level support. The Smart Direct and Smart Connect interfaces allow real-time monitoring of scanning parameters such as position, temperature, true mirror position, marking error, galvo velocity, galvo voltage, galvo current, galvo power and others.
Rotary air-bearing stage
The ABRT series rotary air-bearing stages from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA; www.aerotech.com) provide 360-degree continuous travel with resolution to 0.027 arc sec. Payload capacity is up to 69 kg. This stage family provides a clear aperture up to 50 mm in diameter that can be used for product feed-through, laser beam delivery, cable clearance, or application-specific requirements.
The Laser Smart Nd:YAG 5151 filter from Kentek (Pittsfield, NH; www.kentek-laser.com) offers versatility, security, and visibility to users of industrial Nd:YAG lasers operating at the following wavelengths: OD 7+ @ 190-400 nm, OD 4+ @ 780-875 nm, OD 7+ @ 875-1080 nm, and OD 9+ @ 1064 nm. The filter is available in a wide selection of Laser Smart frame styles to offer superior fit and maximum comfort to all laser users.