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.
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Your father’s Oldsmobile may be long gone but his B-52 is still pulling missions, and they haven’t built the “BUFF” (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) since 1962. The last KC-135 tanker was built in 1965. Besides aging warbirds (the average plane in the US Air Force is over 28 years old) there are hundreds of ancient civilian airliners carrying friendlier payloads everyday. The key to doing this safely is of course excellent maintenance and periodic upgrades. Laser scanning plays an essential role.
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).
Metrology developer Jenoptik AG (Jena, Germany) on Thursday officially opened its new North American technology campus here that will focus on the industrial metrology and laser processing systems used primarily by its automotive OEM and Tier customers.
Although laser welding is a well-established manufacturing solution, many sheetmetal fabricators have been hesitant to implement the process at their shop.
In preparation for mass customization, for starters, Japanese and German tech research officials today committed to expanding their joint work to establish a “social-technical or maybe ‘cyber-social’ environment where ‘digital companions’ and production lines communicate with humans” working in manufacturing, Andreas Dengel said in an interview with Smart Manufacturing magazine here at the CeBIT (Centrum der Büroautomation und Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation) fair.
As both robots and lasers improve their capabilities, they prove to be even better partners in more applications
In an automobile engine, seven types of screws out of approximately 70 are considered critical to achieving the engine’s specified design performance, despite high vibration and heat. The seven include bolts for the cylinder head, crankshaft, con rod, flywheel, and main bearing cap, as well as for the camshaft cap, camshaft sprocket and VCT.
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.
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.