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Prima Power Laserdyne Contributes Microscope To Anoka Technical College

By Prima Power Laserdyne

Brooklyn Park, Minn.— Prima Power Laserdyne, a developer of laser cutting, drilling and welding technology, recently presented a Zeiss high-resolution microscope to the welding program leaders of Anoka Technical College as the college expands its robotic and laser welding program. Initiated in the Fall Semester 2020, the program is designed for students with a basic welding background who want to advance their career.

Making the Zeiss microscope presentation to Anoka Technical College (ATC) is the Applications Group for Prima Power Laserdyne (PPL). Jay Gerdin, (third left), ATC welding instructor, accepted the microscope. Chris Rasmussen (far right), Applications Engineering Manager for PPL, headed up the presentation and the day’s instructional events. Also taking part were Nick McMurry, (second from left) PPL intern, Richard Godeen, (far left) ATC welding instructor, David Vlasyuk, (fourth left) ATC welding instructor and Emily Hunt, (second right), PPL Applications Engineer.

High quality welding can be very challenging taking into account the wide range of materials frequently welded as well as tight metallurgical specifications required in many industries. Everything from high carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum and dissimilar materials, etc. – all have different welding requirements.

Using the Zeiss microscope with a wide zoom range and high resolution will enable Anoka Technical College’s instructors to enhance the welding skills and understanding of the process at the metallurgical level. The ability to analyze welds is key to understanding and correcting porosity, cracking and other adverse effects that can occur in the weld and the heat effected zone compromising the quality of the weld. The microscope enables students to closely examine internal cross sections of welds for potential problems and thereby correct the welding process. Training and knowledge at this metallurgical level allows students to produce high quality welds consistently and contribute to a future employer’s manufacturing capabilities.

Science Of Laser Welding Has Grown

Jay Gerdin, Anoka Technical College welding instructor, explained that industry is finding it difficult to get experienced welders with both welding skill and an understanding of the metallurgical process which occurs during welding. It is one of the drivers behind Anoka Technical College’s expanded robotic and laser welding program. Today’s welding needs aren’t just welding skill but also knowledge of multiple welding processes and have an understanding of the metallurgy interactions that go on inside of welds to help ensure the weld integrity. Learning the correct use of the metallurgical microscope will allow students to better understand the metallurgy of different metals using different welding processes, Gerdin stated.

“We have an ideal collaboration with industry partners like Prima Power Laserdyne,” Gerdin said. “We needed to teach and add laser welding to our program. We have also added robotic welding on three different types of industry-standard robots: ABB, FAN and OTC. We will continue to add more equipment, machines and welding processes in the future. After learning the programming language for each machine, students will then gain hands-on learning experience. And now that we have Prima Power Laserdyne on board with the donation of the metallurgical microscope, we are able to analyze the weld characteristic, heat effected zone and check for porosity in the weld. The microscope also allows students to evaluate pulse characteristics of laser weld programs for size and aspect ratio. This allows students to see how their work conforms to American Welding Society (AWS) standards.”

Collaboration And Sharing

Chris Rasmussen, Applications Engineering Manager for Prima Power Laserdyne, added,” Having technicians and operators knowledgeable in laser welding is critically important for U.S. manufacturing. Being able to share our 40+ years of laser processing and laser welding with Anoka Technical College laser welding program is a benefit to the student who graduates with the fundamentals in laser welding and to the manufacturer who hires the student. The manufacturer will be getting someone with up-to-date knowledge that can be applied to in-house processes. With the students having a fundamental understanding of laser welding and knowing how it can be used in potential applications, it is a win-win for everyone.”

Speaking for Prima Power Laserdyne, Dominic Louwagie, Product and Marketing Manager, stated that “laser welding in manufacturing is a rapidly growing industry. We are proud to share our technology and knowledge with the outstanding laser curriculum at Anoka Technical College. Our unique laser systems and processes have been designed to address the laser processing needs across many industries. Since 1981, Prima Power Laserdyne has been a resource for manufacturers requiring precision laser processing solutions around the world. The company is recognized for its ability to assist in the development of novel laser processing solutions for the most difficult applications. This includes processing systems for 3D welding, drilling, cutting and additive manufacturing.”

Anoka Technical College is one of the first to offer its program with a focus on laser welding with professionals dedicated to teaching students real-world practices that can be applied widely across the industry. The large presence of high-tech manufacturing in the metro area and other parts of the country provides students with significant future opportunities. Prima Power Laserdyne is located near Anoka Technical College in Brooklyn Park, Minn. That presents more opportunities for future collaboration between both organizations to provide career training that evolves as fast as the technology itself.

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