Industrial lasers require cooling to remove excess heat generated in the resonator power electronics and the optics system. The type of cooling required is determined by laser wattage, resonator efficiency, resonator and optics temperature requirements, and ambient temperature.
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While water and fire tube boiler power plants may be considered archaic, they now power much of North America and will for some time, even as newer, cleaner, greener tech transitions into the mainstream and becomes practical.
In the last seven to eight years, solid-state lasers have come to dominate laser welding and cutting,” said Tom Bailey, product specialist for Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT). While Trumpf still produces CO2 lasers, for most applications solid-state lasers literally outshine them.
To stay current with technology and peer into the future of manufacturing, take a look at our preview of IMTS—The International Manufacturing Technology Show, to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago from Sept. 10 through Sept. 15. In the following pages, ME provides in-depth examinations of each pavilion at IMTS, as well as previews of the products you will be able to see displayed at exhibitors’ booths.
Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.
For ABB, robotic welding comes down to a never-ending process of ensuring parts are suitable for laser joining and developing the appropriate processes. To that end, ABB is refining a recent innovation to improve beam delivery speeds and has developed software for on-the-fly welding in tandem with Trumpf’s Intelligent Programmable Focusing Optic (IPFO).
Strong 2016 earnings among top industrial laser providers, continued brisk adoption of fiber lasers, cheaper ultrafast lasers, and a host of novel applications and notable corporate acquisitions signal a big year ahead for photonics-based manufacturing.
Processed Metal Innovators LLC (PMI), Bloomer, Wis., is a metal fabricator that produces hundreds of different stamped and welded metal parts for heavy equipment, automobiles, appliances, and more.
The producers of FABTECH have launched a three-part webinar series that includes an expert line-up of visionary speakers sharing insights and predictions for the economic future covering the impact of the current state of affairs; pre and post-election insights and predictions for the future.
IPG Photonics Corp. has launched LightWELD, a new handheld laser welding system. The LightWELD product line enables fabricators to benefit from the greater flexibility, precision and ease of use enabled by laser-based solutions over traditional welding products, according to IPG Photonics.