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New Lasers and Beam Delivery Reduce Operational Costs and Improve Processing

Parabolic Welding HeadFor the past ten years, the laser industry has seen the introduction of a variety of diode based laser sources. Preco has been actively adding advanced new beam delivery components into its laser processing equipment to complement this new technology.

CO2 lasers, flash lamp pumped lasers and Nd:YAG lasers are frequently being replaced in existing laser equipment (or integrated into new Preco equipment) with diode pump solid state lasers such as fiber lasers, disk lasers and fiber delivered direct diode lasers. The new technology is especially effective in metal cutting, welding, heat treating and cladding applications.

While traditional lasers and beam delivery components are still available for customers, says Dave Krattley, Vice President of Metal Sales, customers can reduce operating costs by upgrading current equipment or ordering new equipment with the more advanced fiber and diode lasers that are now available. Although the new technology may cost a bit more upfront, the long term savings realized over the life of the equipment can be significant due to better wall-plug efficiency.

Maintenance costs are also being reduced by using the new diode based lasers and beam delivery Preco now has available. "In the past, high powered laser welding tended to create a lot of splatter and fumes that required changing your optics quite often", explained Krattley. "The new higher power, smaller diameter fiber lasers allow you to be much farther away—and reduce maintenance costs associated with changing out the optics."

Preco is also tailoring beam delivery components to effectively accommodate the new laser technology

In addition to saving money on energy costs and reduced maintenance, Preco's new beam delivery components combined with diode based lasers can help improve your manufacturing process when compared to the more traditional CO2 or flash lamp lasers. The new high-powered fiber lasers offer very good beam quality allowing small spot sizes. That is ideal for applications in the alternative energy market, for example, where smaller spot sizes are required when laser welding aluminum and copper.

Preco is also tailoring beam delivery components to effectively accommodate the new laser technology and its increased beam intensity. To overcome an issue with thermal lensing, where intense heat can expand a lens and create a focus shift, Preco’s engineers designed a unique parabolic head that uses mirrors instead of transmissive optics. This innovative new beam delivery component has been well received by heavy equipment manufacturers who use high powered fiber lasers for deep penetration welding.

To discuss how Preco's advanced beam delivery components can be a benefit to your operations, contact Dave Krattley at Preco's Somerset office.

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