Precision cutting with lasers

Finest contours - smooth cutting surfaces - no further processing necessary

(PresseBox) (Gaggenau, ) Outstanding beam quality and high-quality optical components are a prerequisite for the manufacture of parts with complex geometry which are becoming ever-smaller and finer. Clearance widths of 10 µm were a few years ago unachievable - but today this is simply state-of-the-art for Precitec.

The system comprises online monitoring by means of a camera. Coaxial, adjustable Led's provide optimal illumination even during cutting, enabling perfect setting of the cutting process. The time required for readjustment after a nozzle, lens or protective window change can be significantly shortened by overlaying electronic crosshairs - and post-adjustment is no longer necessary, since the lens itself can be adjusted under pressure. The system can be configured for wavelengths of 355 nm, 1030 to 1090 nm and 1552 nm.

The precision cutting system is for instance applied for the manufacturing of stents. These small, grid-shaped vascular supports in tubular form are used in medical technology for expanding constricted coronary vessels. The clock and watch industry and the precision engineering sector also use high-precision parts cut by Precitec FS heads.

2D and 3D laser cutting with solid-state lasers

The new HP SSL Cutting Head is ideal for the use in flat bed systems and pipe-cutting machines with fibre-coupled lasers and laser power up to 6 kW. Modelled on the design of the successful and reliable HP series, the HP SSL has integrated distance sensors with extremely durable stability and a monitored protective window cartridge, which extends the life of the optics. The piercing sensor integrated into the new model considerably accelerates the cutting process. Pre-programmed waiting times at the beginning of the cutting procedure are shortened - the cutting process can now start directly after piercing. Motorised focal position adjustment enables the cutting of different sheet thicknesses within the same cycle - manual intervention is no longer necessary. The replacement of lenses for various focal lengths is fast and easy thanks to preadjustable cartridges. The mechanical interface is also the same for all HP1.5" Cutting Heads and this enables simple changing between CO2 lasers and fibre-coupled solid-state lasers.

The YRC Cutting System is the result of Precitec's many years of experience in laser cutting. The fast-reacting distance sensors with integrated height adjustment guarantee constantly high cutting quality at high speeds - even in the case of complex moulded components. The lenses are dust-proof sealed and the optical path is completely sealed - an absolute prerequisite for long-life optical components.

The system is already used by well-known automotive companies, supply companies and job shops. The YRC system has a wide range of applications, including the cutting of holes in finished bodies and cross members of a vehicle or the cutting of hot-formed steel and hydro-formed profiles.

Quality-assured laser beam welding

The combination of quality monitoring systems and processing heads provides a complete solution for highly-automated processing. One example of Precitec's extensive experience in laser joining with concerted process assurance and monitoring of quality is the welding of powertrain parts with the SOUVIS® 5000 system. The inspection head can be automatically switched from the preceeding operation mode (for highly accurate control of the laser beam) to the succeeding measurement of the seam position and quality. Circumferential weld seams allow correlating the joint position to the seam position and therefore the system detects lack of fusion caused by faulty seam positioning even on seams with perfect appearance.

The new YW52 high-power Welding Head

The new high-power YW52 Welding Head was also presented for the first time at the LASER Exhibition. Based on the modular concept of the YW30 Welding Head, the YW52 is designed to operate with maximum aperture and minimal overall size and is suitable for use with fibre, disk or diode lasers in the high power segment. In the basic version, the head is inexpensively priced, and its range of functions can be expanded to match the requirements of customer-specific applications. All well-known pre-process, in-process and post-process modules by Precitec can be integrated for fully automated production. At the exhibition we show the integration of a YW52 in a Fronius hybrid welding head and in a laser grip head by ThyssenKrupp.

Automatic parameterization - yet another puzzle for safe quality monitoring

The Laser Welding Monitor LWM in-process quality monitoring system successfully measures the welding joint quality of over 600 industrial applications. The demands for total reliability in systems that detect welding defects are constantly increasing and the associated algorithms are continually being further developed. In industrial manufacturing, however, user-friendly operation is also very highly rated - and the newly developed PARAMETER ASSISTANT takes over the initial setting of the thresholds in accordance with operator input.

The operator no longer has to parameterize each individual seam, particularly for components with numerous seams, this is now fully automated. Fine settings and adjustments can still be carried out manually. In multi-seam applications, this software generates significant time and cost savings during commissioning of the process monitoring system and when changing welding parameters.

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