Book your Stand for Int’l LASER EXPO 2018 [Early bird Discount 20%, ~9/29]





LaserCoil adds multimode feed capabilityLaserCoil adds multimode feed capability to its coil-fed laser blanking systems

 
LaserCoil Technologies (Napoleon, OH) has added a Continuous Mode (on-the-fly cutting) capability to its coil-fed laser blanking systems, enabling users to choose either Feed Index Mode (Stop/Start) or Continuous Mode to optimize cutting parameters for each part configuration.

Multiple head systems featuring 6kW lasers had already enabled the company`s systems to reach high processing speeds, but the ability to change between Index Mode and Continuous Mode allows customers to select the mode that offers the best production run from a rate and reliability standpoint, explains Jay Finn, LaserCoil Technologies` chief technology officer.

Continuous Mode offers a smooth and steady mode of operation, which is ideal for production runs that are 10,000 blanks and over.

“Most parts will run faster in Continuous Mode, which offers a smooth and steady mode of operation. For production runs that are 10,000 blanks and over, this would be the mode of choice for customers,” Finn says. “In some instances, the length of a single cut path can take longer than the existing cutting window allows at the faster production rate. Rather than split the cuts between the heads, index mode allows the user to choose a mode where the cut can be completed prior to indexing the material.”

The company`s coil-fed laser cutting systems feature gantry-mounted laser heads stationed in multiple cutting cells that travel along the moving strip, balancing the workload. The laser cutting heads, using linear-induction motors, enable them to cut tightly nested, complex curvilinear shapes, while the system`s dynamic profile conveyor features adjustable lanes that support the coil strip while automatically repositioning as needed to clear a path for the laser cut. This feature also facilitates gravity-shedding of scrap and offal, delivering finished blanks without any scrap to any type of stacking system. All systems can integrate with any coil line automation, as well as be retrofit into aging blanking press lines.

By laser cutting direct from coil stock, the company`s systems have utility in production environments that run multiple blank profiles and mixed material types. The systems can process a wide variety of coil material in aluminum, mild steel, high-strength steels, and other materials for surface-sensitive panels, as well as structural components in thicknesses from 0.5 to 3.5mm and up to 2.1m wide coil at any length. 

For more information and to watch a video that illustrates the laser blanking process, please visit www.lasercoil.com.

<Source : Industrial Laser Soluitions>

Sparkle Optics successfully delivers illuminator laser to AFRL

08/16/2017
A 1030 nm, 250 W illuminator laser is a reliable, turnkey, computer-controlled instrument designed for long-term operation. (Image credit: Sparkle Optics)

IMAGE: A 1030 nm, 250 W illuminator laser is a reliable, turnkey, computer-controlled instrument designed for long-term operation. (Image credit: Sparkle Optics)

Sparkle Optics (Menlo Park, CA) received a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the High Energy Laboratory Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO) in 2012 to develop, optimize, and test illuminator lasers based on Sparkle Optics Rotary Disk Laser (RDL) technology. The contract was managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The illuminator laser is intended for adaptive optics system testing in Directed Energy (DE) applications. Under this effort, Sparkle Optics designed and developed RDL illuminator lasers with capabilities for both 250 W and 1 kW average output power.

RELATED ARTICLELaser ablation and directed energy meet in New Mexico

The 250 W RDL was installed and is now operational at the U.S. Army High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) on White Sands Missile Range, NM. The 1 kW design was built and computer-controlled laser operation was demonstrated at an intermediate power level to HEL-JTO in a technical interchange meeting in 2015. Sparkle Optics believes that RDL technology can ultimately be scaled to yield much greater than 100 kW of output power at good beam quality (nearly diffraction limited).

Illuminator lasers play a vital role in laser-based missile defense systems, and the JTO SBIR Phase III contract with Sparkle Optics has made it possible for the defense agencies to procure these lasers from a small business. Sparkle Optics has matured an innovative laser technology for use in defense applications and at the same time created high-technology jobs in the private sector.

This is a success story benefitting HEL-JTO, defense projects, the SBIR process, and the small business.

Sparkle Optics delivered a 1030-nm beacon illuminator laser (BILL) to the HELSTF facility of the Department of the Army in January 2016. The illuminator versus diode pump power measured by HELSTF personnel during the acceptance tests after delivery showed that the laser produced 208 W in 37 ns pulses at 30 kHz repetition rate in a single mode TEM00 beam at 525 W pump diode power after delivery and setup at HELSTF. The laser should reach 250 W with 600 W available diode pump power.

The illuminator laser was transported in a rental van (without any damping capability) from California to New Mexico, a distance of 1250 miles. The last 5 miles of the road was not paved, which induced considerable shock and vibration to the delivery van. The laser was installed on the day after delivery. When the laser was turned on for the first time at low power, it lased immediately without requiring any adjustment or alignment.

 

Personnel have operated the Sparkle Optics laser numerous times per week and have recorded performance to within 15% of the performance since its delivery. Sparkle Optics standard illuminator lasers have routinely operated between 45 F and 90 F in noncondensing environments.

The laser is capable of surpassing fiber lasers in single mode CW operation for High Energy Laser applications and the rotary disk laser operates at many wavelengths of interest and the beam quality is nearly diffraction-limited. Because of absence of thermal aberration and mode size limitation, the rotary disk lasers are reliable and low cost. The laser is modular so that if any component fails in the field, it can be replaced without requiring the entire laser system to be replaced.

SOURCE: Sparkle Optics; http://sparkleoptics.com/pdf/SBIR-Success-Story.pdf

<Source : Laser Focus World>

Laser blasting pushes technological boundaries for non-contact 3D surface structuring

08/15/2017

ADRIEN RODRIGUES

The appeal of laser blasting—bombarding a workpiece with up to thousands of laser points per square millimeter to create a homogenous surface finish—is obvious. The process is fully digital, non-polluting, and non-contact, as no machinery makes contact with the workpiece. GF Machining Solutions is leading the way to the future with its revolutionary 3D laser surface texturing, laying the foundation for truly functional 3D laser texturing.

In terms of surface characterization on machined workpieces, surface roughness—expressed as roughness average (Ra)—is insufficient for conditions that may present proper roughness, but leave much to be desired in terms of optical appearance. Laser blasting, which uses a pulsed fiber laser to literally bombard a workpiece surface with laser energy, delivers unsurpassed homogeneity of machined surface and extreme regularity of surface characteristics.

The challenges
Despite the appeal of laser structuring, programming can be difficult and require many hours, depending on the complexity of the application. With the introduction of laser blasting capabilities that are included with its laser workstation software, GF Machining Solutions has revolutionized the world of surface structuring. Laser Design is a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software package specially dedicated to the company’s laser machines to create machining programs for making laser textures (FIGURE 1).

FIGURE 1. The LASER P 600/1000/1200 U system, which incorporates the Laser Design CAM software package.

Laser blasting textures are generated with Laser Design. The operator simply tells the laser texturing machine the position of the grain, its density, and the organization of the laser points to be applied to workpiece surface. This makes it extremely simple to import a computer-aided design (CAD) file, transform it to a 3D map and apply the desired, pre-mapped texture to the workpiece. Laser Design then tells the AgieCharmilles laser texturing machine (FIGURE 2) the density of the laser points to be applied to the workpiece surface, saving many hours of programming.

FIGURE 2. The AgieCharmilles LASER P 4000 U laser texturing machine.

Process stability and uniform quality across every reproduction of a design are also significant challenges posed by conventional surface texturing methods like sandblasting, which forcibly propels a stream of abrasive material under high pressure against the workpiece to achieve the desired surface characteristics. Often used to impart a matte texture to molds and, thus, to plastic end products, the sandblasting process has a number of productivity-impeding drawbacks in mold and die applications. It is inexact, which means repeatability and homogeneity are impossible. It also requires manual operations, which can result in inconsistent quality and scrapped parts. Moreover, it requires finding and using the right grain of sand, masking the portion of the workpiece so that only the area to be textured is exposed, and often entails involving a third-party sandblasting subcontractor, adding days to the finishing process. With the company’s texturing solutions, a mold can be textured in two days without the need for masking, hand polishing, or third parties.

The solution
Complete control of the texturing process is beyond the capabilities of conventional texturing methods, leaving mold and die manufacturers with the risk of human error, scrapped molds, or poor-quality end products. This is why GF Machining Solutions introduced its Pattern Texturing Laser (PTL), a surface characterization system that takes into account a wide variety of spatial and hybrid parameters (FIGURE 3), including average groove width (Rsm), texture aspect ratio (Str), and interfacial area ratio (Sdr).

FIGURE 3. Controlling surface characteristics ensures regularity.  

By controlling these surface characteristics, manufacturers can ensure perfect homogeneity of machined surfaces and extreme regularity of surface characteristics. This is where laser structuring plays a key role offering a genuinely revolutionary solution with the easy-to-use laser blasting. For example, two very different textures could have the same Ra, but very different Str and optical appearance.

The strides being made with GF Machining Solutions’ laser are expected to enable a revolution in functional surface textures as well—for example, by generating the best surface finish according to both the characteristics of a mold and the injection material. That will make it possible to boost productivity and end-product quality by taking full control of processes like demolding.

Applied research continues
GF Machining Solutions is involved in applied research with industrial partners and academic institutions, such as the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (Switzerland), to validate the potential of laser structuring to increase the productivity of plastic injection molding. The research is already demonstrating that appropriately selected laser structures can reduce injection cycle times with several types of plastic without compromising surface quality.

ADRIEN RODRIGUES is the Laser Product Manager for GF Machining Solutions, Geneva, Switzerland; www.gfms.com.

<Source : Laser Focus World>

Laser SETI will look for signals that radio and optical telescopes cannot see

08/01/2017
Until now, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) experiments, whether listening for a radio transmitter or searching for a high-powered laser, have assumed that ET is on-the-air all the time, so that wherever the instrument is pointed, the signal will be there. Laser SETI is the first experiment to circumvent this assumption. (Image credit: SETI)
 
IMAGE: Until now, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) experiments, whether listening for a radio transmitter or searching for a high-powered laser, have assumed that ET is on-the-air all the time, so that wherever the instrument is pointed, the signal will be there. Laser SETI is the first experiment to circumvent this assumption. (Image credit: SETI)

Laser SETI intends to search the sky for a variety of pulsed light signals that might have been overlooked before. Nearly $55,000 has been raised by SETI (Mountain View, CA) for the project on Indiegogo; see https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/laser-seti-first-ever-all-sky-all-the-time-search-science#/.

RELATED ARTICLELargest sky survey of its kinds finds no evidence of aliens, no laser signals

SETI scientists spend most of their time looking for the kinds of radio or light signals that we generate on Earth. For example, when Frank Drake began the first SETI observations in 1960, he chose to look for signals similar to those for AM radio broadcasting. It seemed to make sense that if humans use AM radio to communicate, then ET (extraterrestrials) might do the same. But there is a vast menagerie of methods to encode sound into a radio signal, for example, using pulses. Drake did not look for short pulses. If he had he might have discovered a kind of neutron star called a pulsar discovered in 1967 by Jocelyn Bell and earning a Nobel Prize for her postdoctoral advisor, Anthony Hewish.

You might imagine that after the first 70 years of radio astronomy we would have noticed all the types of radio signals that nature has to offer. But you would be wrong. In 2008 Duncan Lorimer and coworkers discovered a completely new kind of radio signal we now call the fast radio burst or FRB. Ironically, FRBs are among the brightest astronomical radio sources in the universe and detectable bursts appear hundreds of times every day.

Why did it take so long for someone to discover FRBs? Because no one had guessed that enormously bright singleton radio pulses that last only a millisecond were even possible in nature. Hence, no one had designed a telescope capable of detecting them until the twenty-first century. Their discovery required a radio telescope with an appropriate response time (milliseconds) and exploration of a very large fraction of the sky.

Switching gears now to optical SETI, until now searches have been designed to find either continuous laser signals lasting hours at a time, or extremely short laser pulses lasting only one billionth of a second (one nanosecond). These searches have a simple motivation; since the most powerful lasers on Earth operate either continuously or by generating nanosecond pulses, we suppose that ET will communicate with those types of signals. But isn’t this anthropocentrism? These searches are good as far as they go, but they are blind to pulse durations lasting one millionth or one thousandth of a second.

 

At the SETI Institute, we are mindful of anthropocentrism. We believe in the necessity of exploring all kinds of electromagnetic signal types, and particularly, all possible light pulse durations. And generally speaking, most optical telescopes examine only a tiny fraction of the sky at a time. Even the so-called wide field of view optical telescopes used in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey or the Large Synoptic Survey can probe only about 1 part in 5,000 of the sky at any given time.

That is where Laser SETI comes in. Laser SETI will observe all of the sky, all of the time so even relatively rare events can be found. Laser SETI can discover pulses over a wide range of pulse durations, and is especially sensitive to millisecond singleton pulses which may have been overlooked in previous astronomical surveys. There are good reasons to imagine that ET might produce millisecond laser pulses (hint: light-sail spaceships). But equally exciting is the fact that by exploring new territory our chances of finding something completely unexpected are not zero.

SETI invites you to become a part of this scientific endeavor. Preliminary designs and proofs of principle are complete. When we meet our fundraising goal of $100,000, we can install the first of several optical telescopes around the world and begin searching in this new way. We hope you will join us.

SOURCE: SETI Institute; http://www.seti.org/node/3280

<Source : Laser Focus World>

Blueacre investigates laser micromachining methods to speed microneedle mold production

07/21/2017

Project to develop laser structuring process for metal foil manufacturing

07/17/2017

Roll-to-roll processes have uses in rapid, cost-effective electronic parts manufacturing, and have long been involved in electrical engineering, micro-production, and solar technology. Conventional and other laser-based manufacturing processes have already been incorporated in roll-to-roll manufacturing, but attempts to integrate direct structuring operations conducted using pulsed lasers have so far met with little success. Until now, these processes have failed because of inadequate repetition frequency and low pulse energy, as well as the lack of speed and precision of the beam deflection.

Recognizing this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT; Aachen, Germany) is collaborating with the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT; Oberhausen, Germany) and partners from industry to develop a module capable of direct laser microstructuring in a roll-to-roll process. The aim of the project, dubbed PoLaRoll, is to produce a sieve-like metal foil to serve as a demonstrator that will be used to protect glass facades from the effects of the sun. Their special geometry will lower the impact of solar radiation, thereby reducing the amount of energy required to cool and ventilate the building. 

In this project, Fraunhofer IPT is responsible for developing the laser structuring process as well as the measuring and systems engineering. In addition, the industrial partners will refine two pivotal components: a femtosecond laser with high power output coupled with an extremely high pulse repetition rate and an innovative, dual polygon scanner system, whose purpose will be to ensure swift and accurate beam deflection. Fraunhofer UMSICHT is developing a new chromate-free, environmentally compatible coating that will be cured via UV lithography. It will ultimately be possible to structure both sides of the metal foil simultaneously using a laser.   

Laser structuring of metal foil. (Photo: Fraunhofer IPT)

Fraunhofer IPT is currently developing an inline measuring system for the polygon scanner that will permit coating removal via the femtosecond laser to be measured and any processing faults in the material to be measured in real time along with the form and position of the micro-structures. They will also develop a system-based solution which will permit high-speed synchronization of the laser source and the polygon scanner, allowing the beam path to be split, for example, and moved in both directions. 

It is anticipated that the new module with its femtosecond laser and the polygon scanner system will be integrated in a roll-to-roll process chain to bring together new, interdisciplinary developments from industry and research. These, in turn, will be integrated within a high-speed structuring operation using a pulsed laser to achieve efficient, environmentally compatible industrial high-volume manufacture.

The Horizon 2020 program will grant €3.5 million (around $4 million) to fund the project from October 2016 until September 2019. The total cost is expected to amount to approximately €4.4 million (about $5 million). 

Participating industrial partners are Amplitude Systèmes (France), D’Appolonia (Italy), Laser Engineering Applications (Belgium), LUNOVU Integrated Laser Solutions (Germany), Micrometal (Germany), and Next Scan Technology (Belgium). 

For more information, please visit www.ipt.fraunhofer.de.

<Source : Laser Focus World>

[LASER EXPO 2017] WIKI OPTICS, Introduced Optical Engine Product as Wikistar Brand

WIKI OPTICS(CEO IM Bu-Bin), attended ‘International LASER EXPO 2017’ which is being held from June 27th(Tue) to 29th(Thu) at hall 4 of exhibition hall 1, Ilsan KINTEX and introduced optical engine, LD Module, 8ch LD Driver and so others.

The Wikistar optical engine is an optical module that realize various colors by using RGB laser diode as a light source. The optical engines are divided into “Mars” which the emitted light is parallel light, “Venus” that is combined with single mode optical fiber and “Mercury” combined with optical fiber for lighting

WikiStar 8ch LD driver, that has been released with this, can be used by synchronizing the light source of Multiple laser engine. ACC/APC is performed by PC and USB interface and enables PWM drive of laser diode with its own produced signal.

The official of the company said, “WIKI OPTICS is supplying reliable products by using production technology such as, optical pickup for Data storage, design technology accumulated through Pico projector engine development and precision optical component alignment. We will continue to strive to provide the optimal design and products to realize the creative ideas of customers who needs optical technology”.

Meanwhile, International LASER EXPO 2017 and LED & OLED EXPO 2017 are the biggest LED and OLED trade exhibition that 350 domestic companies attend.

→ Go to ‘Int’l LED & OLED Expo 2017’ News Special Page

 

Global News Network ‘AVING’
by eunjung yu (www.aving.net)

[LASER EXPO 2017] HPK, Introduced Ultra-Precision Nano Convergence Processing System Based on Ultrafast Seconds Laser

HPK, attended ‘International LASER EXPO 2017’ which is being held from June 27th(Tue) to 29th(Thu) at hall 4 of exhibition hall 1, Ilsan KINTEX and introduced Ultra-Precision Nano Convergence Processing System based on Ultrafast Seconds Laser.

HPK Co., Ltd., applied femtosecond(10-15 seconds) laser process beyond the limit of conventional nanosecond(10-9 seconds) laser process. It is developing Nano convergence machining equipment based on Nano scale machining Ultrafast seconds laser that minimizes thermal damage around the machining surface regardless of the types of material of machining object.

Femtosecond Nano convergence machining equipment, that is under development at the headquarters is applied with the beam shaping technique that can freely convert the shape of the laser beam which is developed by the research team of Dr. Cho Sung-Hak of the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, the selective Nano machining technology of multilayer thin film to control laser pulse, and its own mass production system technology, which preferentially will be applied to Nano machining process technology of next generation display parts.

Meanwhile, International LASER EXPO 2017 and LED & OLED EXPO 2017 are the biggest LED and OLED trade exhibition that 350 domestic companies attend.

→ Go to ‘Int’l LED & OLED Expo 2017’ News Special Page

 

Global News Network ‘AVING’
by eunjung yu (www.aving.net)

Silicon-tipped optical fiber makes microscopic heater/thermometer

05/23/2017