The laser processing station VersaCut precisely ablates and cuts a large variety of materials, such as metals (stainless steel, nonferrous metals), ceramics like Si or AlN, and all kind of plastics. Depending on the indented use, the station uses different laser sources with the corresponding focusing optics. The modular VersaCut finds it application in research and production.
Large Portfolio of Laser Sources
The application and budget determine which lasers are selected in the VersaCut processing station.
A solid-state laser delivering short pulses in the nanosecond regime is ideal for cutting stainless steel, Kovar, brass and similar metals. The high peak power with a small focus on the target generates the necessary power density for clean and sharp cuts. There is however an impact on the surrounding area as some local heating occurs. The high peak power allows also for cutting and ablating plastics, even if the laser wavelength does not match the linear absorption of the plastic.
Utilizing a laser generating picosecond pulses improves the quality of the cutting and ablation process further, because the interaction between the laser pulse and the matter is on a different timescale. Now the impact on the surrounding zone becomes minimal. VersaCut uses picosecond lasers for ablation and cutting processes of metals, plastic and ceramics asking for extremely sharp borders.
Perfect cuts and ablation on any material will be achieved by using femtosecond laser pulses as the duration of the pulse is substantially shorter than the cooling time of the electrons. The impact on the surrounding area is practically zero and the depth of the penetration of the pulse can be calculated with highest precision.
Benefits of VersaCut
Large selection of laser sources
Precision processing of metals, ceramics and plastics
Spot sizes down to 10µm diameter
XY scanners allow for fast processing
Semi- or fully automated production
Teil- oder vollautomatischer Betrieb
Focusing Optics generate small Spots
A classical optical head focuses the laser beam to smallest spot sizes with diameters down to 10µm. An integrated CCD camera shows the cutting area and the result. A spatial light modulator (SLM) in front of the optical head allows for the optimization of the mode profile for a specific task.
Alternatively, XY scanners offers highest flexibility for any form of trajectory. The focused laser beam moves within a field of 110x110 mm with greatest precision. Within this are, the size of the focus stays constant – an important condition for uniform results at any point in the working field. VersaCut combines scanning fields to a larger area by moving the XY scanner or the devices in the right position.
Powerful Machine Vision
High resolution machine vision supports the various process steps. Device specific algorithms consist of a combination of multiple process steps (e. g. pattern matching, circular detection and edge detection), thus providing high recognition rates and minimizing process time.
Precise Motion Control
The motion system combines high speed with excellent precision. Axes with linear motors and linear optical encoders provide a speed of 1 m/s and a repeatability down to the sub micrometer range. The gantry configuration gives access to the entire work area of 7000 x 900 mm (other sizes on request).
Manual or automated Device Loading
Loading can be performed manually or automated. For manual loading, individually designed device trays minimize the handling time to a minimum. Automated loading with feeders, robots and/or belts allow for a safe unattended 24/7 production.
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