Update

Laser welding plastic medical products; Lambda Physik wins auto industry order; CCT Laser Services relocates; MORE...

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Laser welding plastic medical products

Fridley, MN—Replacing adhesives used in the automated assembly of syringes with a laser spot weld is a process recently developed by AltaMAR Laser and Control.

The problem with chemical adhesives is their use in high-volume operations or where cleanliness is a priority. The latter is a key factor in medical product manufacturing.

Working in conjunction with Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) the company developed a welding station using an 810nm diode laser, which produces four concurrent welds in a fraction of a second, as parts move through continuously. The laser's wavelength allows the beam to pass though the surface of the polypropylene material, being absorbed by the additive modified sub-layer. Heat generated from this process melts both layers forming a bond.

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Plastic medical syringe is welded using a diode laser.
Click here to enlarge image

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The resulting strong bond introduces no foreign material and it is compatible with high production rates. Also the need to purchase and store chemical adhesives is eliminated, along with the problem of dispensing adhesive and the high maintenance costs to keep the old method running.

For more information on plastic welding contact Dan Martin at AltaMAR at Tel. (763) 586-7906 or access the company's Website at www.altamarinc.com.


Lambda Physik wins auto industry order

Göttingen, Germany—Lambda Physik, a major supplier of pulsed ultraviolet lasers has been awarded a contract from Elotherm GmbH (Remscheid, Germany) for the treatment of auto engine cylinder liners. The EUR 1.7-million order is for excimer lasers that will be incorporated into the production facility of a leading automotive manufacturer.

The new surface treatment technology was developed during a joint research project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and will now enter the series production stage.

The new system, which employs the Lambda Steel 1000 excimer laser, reduces oil consumption by up to 75 percent compared to the conventional treatment method, and decreases the wear and tear of cylinder sleeves and piston rings. These reductions result in lower emission impact on the environment. Elotherm integrates the high-performance excimer laser and Lambda's MicroLas laser beam control system into this automated processing system.

For more information, contact Lambda Physik at Tel. +49 (0) 551-6938 0 or check the company's Website at www.lambdaphysik.com.


CCT Laser Services relocates

Tracy, CA—Citing enhanced efficiency as a prime factor, CCT Laser Services, a leader in contract laser trimming and micromachining, has moved to an 8750-sq.-ft. facility in Tracy. The new building also allows for laser system upgrades and reduced space costs, factors that mean higher-quality laser services with quicker turnaround.

Founded in 1985, CCT's capabilities include passive and active laser trimming on thick film, thin film and ultra-thin film circuitry; and micromachining of thin materials.

The company's new telephone number is (209) 833-1110, Fax (209) 833-1116 or visit www.cctlaser.com.


Vision system manufacturer expands

Oxford, England—Meta Vision Systems, a producer of laser-based finding and tracking systems for automating arc welding, has acquired Integrated Sensor Systems (iSS—East Kilbride, Scotland), a manufacturer of custom weld seam tracking equipment.

Meta Managing Director Mike Wilson says that iSS, with its custom-engineered solutions, is a good fit with Meta's standard product line. Meta has more than 500 sensor systems installed in more than 30 countries, so the company will offer iSS greater market recognition.

In North America contact Steve Thacker at Meta at Tel. (514) 333-0140 or e-mail statmvs@attglobal.net.


Collimated plasma lithography

San Diego, CA—JMAR Technologies Inc. has selected Collimated Plasma Lithography (CPL) as the name to describe its new, cost-effective technology to process the high-performance chips needed for future advances in microelectronics.

CPL uses three light-source technologies developed at JMAR: Brightlight, a solid-state laser system; a converter that transforms the Brightlight infrared pulses into 1nm light and a collimator that gathers much of the 1nm light and directs it to the mask/wafer combination. This enables the production of printed circuits at very high resolution in the sub-100nm feature size.

According to JMAR director and recently retired CEO Dr. John S. Martinez, "In the past, the term 'X-ray lithography' has been used as a catch-all phrase by the industry to describe a variety of quite different lithography processes, based on various forms of X-ray light sources." Commenting on CPL as a breakthrough in advanced lithography he says, "Once objectively evaluated, we believe CPL will clearly distinguish itself as a viable alternative to succeed conventional processes. Changing the way in which we refer to our lithography technology was a necessary step in differentiating it from technologies developed by others in the past."

Martinez sums up the announcement by saying, "The bottom line is, CPL is a technology of the future that's ready to do the job now and, because of its extendibility, it will be an important technology for many years to come."

Fore more on CPL check out JMAR's Website at www.jmar.com.


New premium Mercedes incorporates laser welding

Sindelfingen, Germany—You may have been reading about the Maybach, Mercedes' bid to top the premium car market. Named after Wilhelm Maybach, the co-developer, along with Gottlieb Daimler, of the original Mercedes—a vehicle said to be named after Daimler's daughter-the new vehicle is being built in a section of the Sindelfingen, Germany auto plant.

At this plant Mercedes craftsmen manually weld body-in-white components while an automated laser welding system joins the aluminum door inners to outers. Other operations, such as door hemming, roof and hood welding, also blend manual with automation as Mercedes intends to ensure that the Maybach is the highest quality product in its auto line.

The Maybach, currently being built on a limited scale, about five vehicles per day, is a big car. It's about 20 feet long with a 12-foot wheelbase, which requires a 12- cylinder, 550-horsepower engine to move it at highway speeds. Naturally it's loaded with passenger goodies, including two color TV or DVD monitors. And as top-of-the-line products the Maybach carries a hefty price tag, more than $300,000. —DAB

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