Solid-state laser technology has matured, leading to development of new, cost-effective welding applications, such as hybrid welding
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The growing need for nano and micro components in the medical industries is challenging manufacturers to continually improve upon their manufacturing processes and take a scientific approach to injection molding and tooling.
Today, laser technology in manufacturing touches all of our lives on a daily basis; lasers cut air bag material and weld air bag detonators for our in-car safety; lasers weld the batteries in many of our mobile devices; lasers drill aero-engine components for planes; lasers cut the glass for our smart phones and tablets screens; lasers weld the drivetrains in our cars and trucks; lasers cut medical stents that increase and enhance our lives, just to name a few.
In addition to carbide, ceramics, and cermet, the drive to create the hardest possible cutting tool materials has given us the alphabet soup of PCD, PCBN, CVD-D, and MCD (polycrystalline diamond, polycrystalline cubic boron nitride, chemical vapor deposition diamond, and mono-crystalline diamond, respectively).
A recent effort by the Norton Advanced Applications Engineering Group demonstrates that for difficult-to-machine materials, grinding can be an economical alternative to other machining processes.
The additive manufacturing revolution is in full stride, flying in aircraft and giving manufacturers a robust tool for design and production
Although laser welding is a well-established manufacturing solution, many sheetmetal fabricators have been hesitant to implement the process at their shop.
Friction welding may be just the recipe for joining lightweight materials
Lasers — well-established tools in the manufacture of medical devices—are continuing to break ground by producing smaller, more precise and more functional parts thanks to faster pulse speeds at lower cost, new applications and the marriage of laser processing to Swiss-style machining.
Cutting tool maker Shape-Master Tool Co. (Kirkland, IL) needed to expand its tool grinding capability beyond that of its conventional machines or run the risk of losing work to the competition.