Compiled by Laureen Belleville, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Profile Welding System (PWS) from Rofin-Sinar Laser (Hamburg, Germany; www.rofin-ham.de) is a complete system to weld tubes and profiles in which the sensor technology is integrated for gap detection and seam tracking. According to the company, this guarantees the greatest processing reliability. The system operates without contact and has a programmable control system, which can also take over additional functions such as the control of gases required for the welding process or the control of the laser performance. The PWS can reach a production speed of up to 30 m/min and a positioning accuracy of up to 20 m due to rapid and precise linear drives.
The PWS is coupled with the Rofin DC 080 W, which provides excellent beam quality and does not require any gas recirculation or transmissive optics. The laser beam exits through a diamond window without any optical function, and a gas replacement is required only every 72 hours.
PRC Laser (Landing, NJ; www.prclaser.com) has introduced a 2500W laser with a high-quality, highly focusable, TEM00 beam output. The STS 2500 HQ, with an M2 rating of 1.2 (K factor > 0.8), reportedly offers excellent focusing characteristics for all precision cutting and welding applications. The improved power density results in a hotter “tool,” improving process speed and quality for specific applications.
A carefully designed and balanced control system, the M2B-6017 from Sterling Inc. (New Berlin, WI; www.sterlco.com) assures sensitivity and instantaneous reaction to temperature changes. Several combinations of heater sizes and pumping rates are available. Cooling controls are optional. Features include a Viking positive displacement packed pump with drip return pump, TEFC pump motor, NEMA 12-style electrical control enclosure with IEC electrical components, PID control for both heating and cooling, and more.
Refractive beam shaper
Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA; www.newport.com) has introduced the GBS-UV-H refractive beam shaper. Optically designed without an internal focus, the beam shaper, which is optimized for UV laser input at 248-365 nm, delivers efficient beam shaping that is required for many applications, including material processing and micromachining. The product produces a collimated flat-top beam by point-to-point mapping of the Gaussian input rays to redistribute the intensity to a flat top output. The collimated output beam can be manipulated and re-sized with conventional imaging optics. The device uses low dispersion refractive optics with high-efficiency dielectric anti-reflective coatings.
Fiber-coupled diode lasers from Laserline Inc. (Los Gatos, CA; www.laserline-inc.com) now achieve up to 3000 W from a 600µm fiber or up to 6000 W from a 1mm fiber. Output power up to 6000 W is achieved from a compact and mobile unit that contains the diode laser itself with fiber-coupling unit, power supply, heat exchanger, and control with integrated teleservice modem. Applications include welding thermoplastics, welding metals, and brazing in the automotive industry as well as hardening and cladding for wear protection. For all applications, suitable optics and additional components are available.
Designed for the measurement of high-rep-rate lasers with pulse rates up to 20 kHz, the PE9-F pyroelectric detector from Ophir Optronics Inc. (Wilmington, MA; www.ophiropt.com) can measure up to a maximum pulse width of 0.5 µs. The unit provides pulse energy measurements from 0.3 µJ to 1 mJ. Spectral response with metallic absorber is 0.19-12 µm with energy scales of 1 mJ, 200 µJ, 20 µJ, and 2 µJ. Average power for the PE9-F is up to 2 watts, with maximum average power density of 50 W/cm2. It operates only with the company’s Nova II and USB interface.
Q-switched UV laser
New from Coherent Laser Division (Santa Clara, CA; www.coherent.com) is the Avia 266-1500, a high-repetition rate 266nm laser. The unit is a Q-switched, diode-pumped, all-solid-state UV laser based on the field-proven technology platform established in the company’s Avia 355 series lasers. With specified average power of 1.5W at 20 kHz and a TEM00 beam, the new unit is well suited for a range of micromachining applications, including glass processing and thin-film removal.
The P-611 series of X, XY, XZ, and XYZ nanoalignment stages from PI (Physik Instrumente, Auburn, MA; www.pi.ws) are based on ultra-low inertia piezo drives and frictionless flexure guiding systems contributing high accuracy and speed. The series provides a travel range of 100 µm per axis with nanometer resolution and high responsiveness. Open-loop models are intended for high-resolution positioning and scanning tasks where an external sensor or optical feedback signal is used. The closed-loop versions allow absolute position control, high linearity, and repeatability based on the internal high-resolution feedback sensors.
For precision alignment of single-mode fibers, diode lasers, photodetectors, lenses, and other components, the SX1000 from Miyachi Unitek Corp., Axia Systems Division (Monrovia, CA; www.miyachiunitek.com) features the company’s A-Series welding lasers designed specifically for photonics manufacturing. It may be configured with up to 12 axes of nanopositioning stages. The nanometer-level motion system includes XY stages equipped with high-speed direct drive linear motors and air or crossroller bearings, precision rotary stages, and parts leveling tooling. The SX1000 provides a variety of alignment, peak-holding, post-weld-shift management, and diagnostic algorithms supporting rapid and robust first light detection and peak alignment optimization for maximum coupling efficiency and telecommunications performance.
NanoVia LP (Londonderry, NH; www.nanovia.com) has announced the patent-pending NanoWeld DPSS laser beam shaper and scanner technology for laser micro-level spot welding, seam welding, and medical plastic bonding applications. Applications include situations where uneven beam intensities and overlapping scanning zones create undesired welds or bonds. NanoWeld optics can be integrated with user-selectable beam pattern shapes and scanning sequences appropriate for different stitch or seam weld requirements. Other beam shape patterns include circular and rectangular shaped laser patterns or circular arrays of beam focal points for welding medical assemblies and critical telecommunications packages.
Laser delivery assemblies
Fiberguide Industries Inc. (Stirling, NJ; www.fibeguide.com) launched a line of high-power laser delivery assemblies employing its own custom-designed high-power SMA (HP-SMA) connector. The HP-SMA utilizes air gap technology to eliminate all energy-absorbing materials at the fiber end. According to the company, the cantilevered fiber end can accept very high power levels that would normally destroy a traditional fiber termination. A heat sink is thermally connected to effectively conduct most of the generated heat away from the fiber. Applications include metal cutting, welding, precision machining, machine processing, and others.
Diode-pumped laser modules
Northrop Grumman Corp. (St. Charles, MO; www.northropgrumman.com) has expanded its RB Plus family of diode-pumped laser modules with higher output power ratings up to 100 watts continuous wave that deliver increased processing speed and productivity for end users. Reportedly, the modules generate and amplify light as the “engine” in many lasers. They have varied industrial uses, including laser marking, materials processing, and scientific research. The new modules are compact and feature long-life diode bars.