Compiled by Laureen Belleville, email@example.com
New from Carl Cloos Schweisstechnik GmbH (Haiger, Germany; www.cloos.de) is a complete robot solution with laser hybrid high-capacity technology, which is an efficient combination of laser beam and arc welding. All components required, such as handling and welding robot, robot controller, Quinto computer-controlled pulsed arc machine technology, and laser technology are integrated into the complex welding system. Two new laser hybrid welding heads, one equipped with an integrated process monitoring system and the other with freely programmable torch orientation (rotating radius +/- 135°), enable the user to realize varied seam forms in universal applications.
Also new are the CSE (Cloos Seam Explorer) and CST60 (Cloos Seam Tracker), which are contact-free optical measuring systems for determining weld position/geometry during robot welding. They operate on the basis of a distance measurement using a laser beam with low capacity (5 mW CW).
Red metal welder
New from Miyachi Unitek Corp. (Monrovia, CA; www.miyachiunitek.com), the model LW2AG is a visible light pulsed Nd:YAG welding laser designed specifically for applications comprising highly reflective materials such as gold, copper, and copper alloys. In addition to its 532nm output wavelength, the product features a real-time optical power feedback control system, a simple user interface, and fiberoptic delivery for easy operation and maintenance, all in an air-cooled package.
Direct diode systems operating at 900 nm to 1000 nm spectral range and capable of delivering more than 1 kW of optical power by a conventional multimode fiber are available from IPG Photonics Corp. (Oxford, MA; www.ipgphotonics.com). The DLR Series is based upon state-of-the-art fiber combining of emission of new and super-bright diode modules. At present each of the diode modules provides up to 20W power in the 100µm fiber core, with a numerical aperture less than 0.13. The photo shows a 120W DLR laser delivered through a 200µm fiber. The company says the DLR Series can be used in industrial and medical applications and is a replacement to diode laser systems that incorporate bars.
Laser amplifier module
Based on the successful tapered amplifier technology, Toptica Photonics AG (Munich, Germany; www.toptica.com) offers BoosTA, a pure optical diode laser amplifier module. Without losses in spectral and spatial quality, near-diffraction-limited laser beams from diode or gas lasers can be amplified in the spectral range from 730 nm to 1085 nm. According to the company, typical factors of 50 to 100 up to an output of 1 W and an M2 below 1.7 can be achieved. The BoosTA amplifier can be used for both pulsed (down to sub-picosecond pulse width) and narrow-band CW laser sources.
Photon Inc. (San Jose, CA; www.photon-inc.com) has added 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional beam profile visualization to its NanoScan beam profiler. The product employs the scanning slit beam profiling technique, which generates two orthogonal linear profiles. The company explains that this data becomes more intuitive when 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional images are generated from these profiles.
Despite the increased travel range of up to 950 µm, the P-628 series of nanopositioning stages from PI (Physik Instrumente, Auburn, MA; www.pi.ws) are compact while providing rapid settling with nanometer-scale resolution and guiding accuracy. The long travel range is achieved by a combination of a friction-free and extremely stiff flexure system and the ceramic-encapsulated PICMA multilayer piezo actuators. A variety of 32-bit digital controllers provide fast communications and can read calibration data from ID chips integrated in the nanopositioning stages.
Nonmagnetic optical tables
An option for each performance grade of standard Kinetic Systems Inc. (Boston, MA; www.kineticsystems.com) optical table, the nonmagnetic tables are constructed using industry-standard nonmagnetic stainless steel or aluminum. Nonmagnetic tabletops have an epoxy-bonded honeycomb core featuring the proprietary Spillpruf design, whereby entire rows of mounting holes are sealed to protect the core from accidental spills and simplify cleanup. Standard sizes range up to 6 ft x 20 ft with thicknesses from 8 in to 36 in. The tables offer broadband damping and are Class 100 cleanroom compatible.
1W UV laser
Spectra-Physics division of Newport Corp. (Mountain View, CA; www.spectra-physics.com) has announced the 1W ultraviolet (355nm) Vanguard laser. The quasi-CW laser has been designed to meet the requirements of OEM applications. According to the company, it delivers solid-state reliability and low cost of ownership to applications currently using CW water-cooled UV ion lasers.
Ultra-low absorption coating
Umicore Laser Optics (Meadow Vista, CA; www.laseroptics.umicore.com) now offers the UltraLO absorption coating for CO2 laser optics. The coating offers <0.15 percent absorption on AR/AR coated high gas pressure lenses for CO2 lasers with output powers in excess of 4kW. Reportedly, the lenses operate at lower temperatures and therefore with reduced thermal lensing and focus shift. A further key benefit is increased lens lifetime, resulting in reduced downtime and fewer new lenses.
The Everest 355-8 high-power Nd:YAG laser from the Commercial Laser Group of General Atomics (San Diego, CA; www.galasers.com) delivers 0.8 mJ per pulse at a repetition rate of 10 kHz. It can be operated at pulse repetition rates to 50kHz, while maintaining short pulse durations and beam characteristics of M2 < 1.4. The company notes that high peak power and short pulses play an important role in reducing heat affected zones. The product is intended for applications such as wafer dicing, via drilling, scribing, glass processing, cutting LCD displays, and more.
CO2/Nd:YAG combo laser
The FineMarker Hybrid from Trotec Laser Inc. (Ypsilanti, MI; www.troteclaser.com) combines a diode-pumped Nd:YAG (YVO4) laser with a CO2 laser on a high-speed flying optic X-Y motion system. The result is a machine capable of engraving, cutting, and marking on a wider range of materials than either technology separately. The system has a 29in x 17in active work area.
Gas distribution manifold
Offering what the company claims is the industry’s lowest dollar per cubic foot of manifold capacity, the 629 Series from Concoa (Virginia Beach, VA; www.concoa.com) is a flexible gas distribution system that can be configured either for gaseous withdrawal or as a vent manifold. Configured as a gas manifold with ½-inch internal diameter flow path, the product reportedly offers excellent gaseous flow capacity from either liquid cans or high-pressure cylinders to a Concoa pressure control device. It is available with 24- to 72-inch Teflon or stainless lined hoses.
Without human intervention, the 2005 Lightning Hi-Dynamic laser system from Salvagnini America Inc. (Hamilton, OH; www.salvagnini.com) loads blanks, cuts intricate shapes, unloads finished products, destroys skeletons, and files reports. Whether purchased as a standalone machine, a scalable building block for future system integration, or as a complete laser cell with ASRS and robot, the Lightning is designed to take advantage of the enhanced cutting speeds attainable with the newest generation of limited divergence Rofin SLAB series CO2 lasers. Other product highlights include a Guassian power density distribution of k>0.9 plexiglas burn for high-speed cutting, low energy costs, minimal laser gas consumption, and reduced start-up time.
Fiber coupled laser
Laserex Technologies Pty Ltd (Export Park SA, Australia; www.laserex.net) has developed a high-power fiber coupled laser module suitable for use in micro-welding, tissue welding, and other applications. Key features include high output powers up to 25 W, pulse lengths variable from 1 ms to CW, wavelengths of 635 nm to 980 nm, RS-232 control, and repetition frequencies from 1Hz to 500Hz. Various output optics are available, as are fibers down to 100 µm.
Laser safe enclosures
To house its Nd:YVO4, Nd:YAG, and CO2 lasers, Rofin-Baasel UK (Daventry, U.K.; www.rofin.com) has introduced the SL-Manual (SLM) series of Class 1 laser safe enclosures suitable for the Starmark or Powerline E laser sources. All SLM models feature integrated keyboard, trackpad, and TFT flat screen monitor. Laser supply units are fully housed within the frame meaning that there are fewer trailing cables, thus simplifying installation.