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Automation Alternatives releases new fiber laser welding system

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 07:00
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Given the burgeoning demand for laser welding applications across the Automotive industry, there is now an efficient, high-quality laser welding system that can reduce cycle times with both pulsed and CW fiber laser technology. Automation Alternatives offers their latest fiber welding system breaking new ground as one of the fastest, most versatile and accurate systems available on the market today. 

The exceptionally small spot size — as small as 0.001 to 0.002 inch --- coupled with extremely fast weld speeds delivers unsurpassed power densities at the weld while minimizing the Heat Affected Zone, making the RubyLaser FLW a good solution for welding dissimilar materials, for welding very thin materials, and for joining thin and thick parts. The systems are ideal for rapid prototyping from micro-welding to high-strength welds — often stronger and more effective than EB welding as demonstrated in cross-section analysis — providing great versatility.

Typical materials include Stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, Inconel, Nitinol, Kovar, Hastelloy and others.

One of the biggest challenges when welding materials of significantly different thicknesses or when attempting to weld dissimilar materials, is providing sufficient energy to melt the thicker part or the material with the higher melting point without deforming or possibly vaporizing the thinner material.  When asked how Automation Alternatives addressed this dilemma, CEO Mehdi Soghrati explained that Automation Alternatives developed a highly sophisticated laser power controller that is capable of finely modulating the laser over a very wide range.  He went on to say that the controller algorithm provides unique modulation techniques that ensure that sufficiently high laser energy is applied to the parts in order to melt and join very different thicknesses of material without overheating or damaging the thinner part during the welding process. 

Welding dissimilar materials presents yet another obstacle — the formation of intermetallics. As the material with the lower melting point approaches its vaporization temperature, non-homogeneous structures can be formed resulting in weakened and inferior weld quality.  Unlike those of their competitors, the Automation Alternatives controller has the unique ability to precisely control heat input to each material individually thereby mitigating the creation of intermetallics. The controller’s algorithm ‘shapes’ the laser’s power and pulse where the two molten materials mix thereby reducing the likelihood of brittle or otherwise poor weld quality --- and without the need to introduce filler metals in the vast majority of applications.

The Automation Alternatives controller and modulation algorithm are capable of regulating the laser power over a significantly wider range than that of competitors’ systems. This allows a higher-powered laser to weld thin materials that would typically need to be processed on a lower-powered machine. The RubyLaser FLW system, along with its controller and powerful user-friendly software, can easily weld materials as thin as 0.001”. In addition, it is also able to produce welds of different finishes, patterns and penetration and by leveraging the laser’s line-of-sight welding capability, a variety of weld geometries can be achieved that are simply beyond the capabilities of traditional welding systems.

RubyLaser FLW systems are available in 1 x 1 ‘, 2’x2’, 4’x4’ and 4’x8’ working areas and feature a feather-touch automatic pull-out table to facilitate loading and unloading of the machine. Additionally, systems can be supplied with custom, automated welding fixtures that significantly improve productivity and precision and can also be equipped with single and multiple rotary axes and spindles as well as custom automation, if desired. Always pushing the precision-envelope, Automation Alternatives welding system provides an extremely versatile vision system that seamlessly integrates with the controller and software for both their welding and cutting laser lines enabling unparalleled precision and increased throughput. With many such systems installed in the field, the system has proven to be extremely reliable.

Offered in power levels ranging from 150W to 5kW, the RubyLaser FLW has unparalleled energy efficiency and boasts a laser life well upwards of 100,000 hours. Automation Alternatives is able to provide custom laser welding solutions at prices that are lower than comparable off-the-shelf systems. To learn more about Automation Alternatives’ RubyLaser FLW systems, call 508-446-7063 to speak with a sales engineer.

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