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compiled by Laureen Belleville,

Welding solutions

Miyachi Unitek (Monrovia, CA; offers two solutions for high-speed welding applications that move the laser rather than the part: a galvo mirror-based scanning system and a low-mass moving focus head linear drive system. The galvo mirror system is capable of point-to-point speeds of up to 100 inches per second over short distances, offering almost-instantaneous weld-to-weld positioning. The system is specifically designed for multiple welds on small parts that may be welded one at a time or nested according to the working area of the F-theta focusing lens. Typical applications are welding read heads for hard disk drives, where up to 72 welds are required each second.

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When larger parts are being welded, a gantry system is employed. This allows the beam focus spot size to be selected independent of the area and maintains the beam angle on the part. Using a low mass weld head, accelerations of 2 g are possible, allowing for speeds of up to 100 inches per second. In addition, with a rapid acceleration profile, it is possible to move, stop, and weld at multiple positions to maintain a round weld with minimized impact on overall cycle time.

Remote welding scan head

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New from Arges (Nabburg, Germany;, the Remote Welding Elephant is a scan head that uses post objective scanning. The objective-a fast, precise, and tilt-free galvanometer-controlled beam expander with diffraction limited design-is capable of adjusting the laser spot size on the target. The unit’s 50mm aperture makes it suitable for high-power fiber or fiber-coupled lasers. The standard QBH fiber coupling module can be replaced by a type D-plug or a customer-specific adapter. A new feature for heavy-duty use is the cross-jet nozzle, which significantly reduces contamination and debris on the protection window extending the service interval and reducing cost. Auxiliary nozzles help to remove fumes from the working area. Additionally, the protection window is mounted in a removable drawer for fast replacement. To improve the teach-in procedures, the scan head can be equipped with up to three camera devices. Two cameras provide an overall view of the scan field and the third delivers a magnified picture of the processing area and can be used for precise aligning and the automatic alignment of the real process line on the workpiece. An additional aiming cross laser assists in targeting the focal plane. The easily attachable robot flange is available for robots from all major manufacturers.

Laser for cleaning/ablation

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The SGR (Super-Gaussian Resonator) series Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, manufactured by Beamtech Optronics and offered in North America by RPMC Lasers (O’Fallon, MO;, combines a variable reflectivity mirror (VRM) with an unstable resonator design to create a cavity with TEM00 mode volume for excitation and energy extraction. Users can specify flat top hat uniform energy distribution or VRM Gaussian profiles. The close-coupled diffuse pump chamber delivers uniform pumping to the laser rod for optimum lasing excitation efficiency and allows for a higher stored energy by eliminating parasitic oscillations within the pump chamber. One or more amplifiers can be added to the oscillator for energy outputs up to 10J at 1064 nm.

Laser system

The LP9XYV series from Worldwide Laser Service (Gilbert, AZ; can be coupled with any of the company’s CO2 lasers from 10 to 400 watts, Nd:YAG lamp or diode lasers from 20 to 400 watts, or fiber lasers from 10 to 100 watts. The Class 1 enclosure features a programmable x-y table for movement of parts under the laser head (either galvo or fixed). The table is mounted on solid rails and supports up to 200 pounds without any table movement. Dual vision cameras are incorporated: one is mounted with the laser head to provide viewing through the laser focus optic to ensure precise alignment and the other is outside the laser head to provide overall viewing of the laser marking or cutting area.

Linear slides

New from Kerk Motion Products (Hollis, NH;, the RGSW and RGSWX slides offer thicker and wider bases than the original, more compact RGS slides. Both new series include direct sensor mounting systems, and the RGSWX slides with direct motor mounting can accept NEMA-frame motors without any modifications or additional fabrication. Requiring no maintenance or lubrication, the anti-backlash slides can be manufactured in lengths up to eight feet. Longer lengths are available on a custom basis.

Laser for precision applications

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Coherent (Santa Clara, CA; offers two models of the Matrix 355 series solid-state lasers: the Matrix 355-1-60 delivers more than 1W of average power at a 60kHz pulse repetition rate, and the Matrix 355-2-20 delivers 2W at 20kHz. The lasers feature PermAlign (soldered) component mounting technology, robot assembly methods, and long-lived components such as AAA (Aluminum-free Active Area) pump diodes. According to the company, the output characteristics of these lasers make them suitable for precision applications in materials processing and micro-electronics, such as stereolithography (rapid prototyping), LCD/FPD titling, memory repair, thin-film processing, precision marking, and semiconductor scribing.

Dust collection

The new Intelli-Touch control panel for use with the Micro Air dust collection systems from Micro Air Clean Air Systems (Wichita, KS; enables the dust collector to continually operate at the designed CFM. By doing so, there is no wasted horsepower, compressed air, or energy. It also allows the maximum possible filter life. The touch-screen controls feature online monitoring and tracking of all pertinent electrical and performance data related to the dust collection system.

Marking/engraving laser

The firestar t70i from Synrad (Mukilteo, WA; provides a guaranteed 70 watts of CO2 power from a compact, rugged design (although actual output is said to be significantly higher). With a fully integrated RF power supply, overall dimensions of 528 x 117 x 171 mm, and air- or water-cooled configurations, the unit is ideal for high-speed engraving and marking applications.

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