The Fabricating & Lasers pavilion of IMTS shows how makers of machine tools have to keep improving their product lineup. For one thing, customer expectations continue to rise.
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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.
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.
Solid-state laser technology has matured, leading to development of new, cost-effective welding applications, such as hybrid welding
As both robots and lasers improve their capabilities, they prove to be even better partners in more applications
You don’t have to look too far to find the reasons for the growth of fiber lasers for production applications. On price per watt, beam quality, electrical consumption, and maintainability required, fiber lasers typically score the lowest on the cost side and very high on the performance side.
From producing lithium-ion batteries to processing sheetmetal, new laser welding systems are “pushing the envelope” of light absorption, beam control, speed and programming flexibility.
While laser marking and engraving are well-established processes, innovations and investments in the sector are continuing to push performance boundaries.
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.
The energy industry is often at the forefront of our minds as we watch fuel prices climb and then celebrate when they come down. We continually find ways to be as energy efficient as possible in our homes and workplaces. Media outlets keep us constantly informed of this often-volatile industry’s ups and downs.