18 June 2008

Fine Welding Lasers from Rofin ? Meet the Family

With laser welding becoming the process of choice across an ever growing spectrum of materials joining applications, selecting the correct laser for a specific application may seem a daunting task.  However, with a complete family of laser sources and systems, backed by almost 30 years of application experience, Rofin-Baasel is able to provide the optimum combination of laser source, system and accessories for all fine welding applications.

Precision, performance and perfect pulses
The Rofin portfolio is not restricted to a specific technology and therefore the most appropriate laser and system for the task in hand will always be recommended. This Family of lasers and systems includes:-

  • Fibre Laser Sources           
  • Pulsed YAG Rod Laser Sources   
  • Manual & CNC Welding Systems

StarFibre – Precision & performance
A range of compact and robust fibre laser sources are available with a power range of 100 to 200W. This range of laser sources is especially suited to the finest of welding applications. A combination of high beam quality, choice of power and operational mode selection – pulsed or cw mode - means that the StarFibre series lasers can be used for a broad spectrum of precision welding applications. The performance characteristics of the StarFibre series lasers are further enhanced by the low inertia scanning head which enables extremely high welding speeds to be achieved over a large processing field. An optional camera and coaxial illumination system enables viewing of the weld area via the scanning head. Delicate and precise welding applications are possible due to the extraordinarily small spot size and low heat input, enabling StarFibre lasers to produce precision welds on components such as batteries, fuel cells, sensors, electro-mechanical components and medical components.

StarPulse – Perfect pulses for laser welding
The StarPulse series of lasers from Rofin-Baasel is a new generation of pulsed YAG rod lasers with power ratings from 40W to 500W. Rofin already has a large installed base of laser systems operating within the welding arena and this new range of lasers encompass the extensive application knowledge gained from a multitude of applications. StarPulse lasers offer the largest range of pulsed peak power available on the market. Precision welding of delicate components is achieved using the accurately controlled low end pulse peak power of 10W. With up to 20kW of pulsed peak power available, high quality welding on highly reflective materials such as aluminium and copper up to 2.0mm thick can be achieved at high processing speeds.

The Rofin Control Unit ( RCU ) employs Double Closed Loop ™ principles which guarantee excellent pulse to pulse repeatability with <1% variation even at lowest pulse energies. This pulse stability together with outstanding intra pulse control, which is unaffected by reflections from the work piece, means that precisely controlled pulses of only a few mJ  of pulse energy can be used to weld extremely thin wires of 50µm diameter or to produce seam welds in thin section metal parts.

Guaranteed quality from the first pulse
StarPulse uses the proven sweet spot resonator® which eliminates problems which may occur if initial pulses have higher energy, to ensure process quality right from the first pulse. Used in conjunction with the Micro Weld™ option and direct beam delivery, weld spot diameters of <0.1mm can be achieved even when using scanning optics with large focal lengths. The benefits of this configuration include the ability to process multiple parts over a large area using one fixture and a high speed galvo head.

Laser Welding Systems
Rofin’s philosophy is always to compliment the laser source with a complete solution and this principle is evident in the range of fine laser welding systems offered. With a number of different welding system configurations available, there is a Rofin system solution available for almost every application.

The Desktop is the smallest and most cost-efficient model available within the Family. This entry level system is a compact, low-cost and multi-purpose manual welding laser which was designed to fulfil the specific requirements of dental laboratories, workshops and research institutes. Ergonomic and desktop sized, this laser system achieves excellent results in the precision welding of electro-mechanical components.. The Desktop system is also used extensively in the production and repair of crowns and bridges within the dental industry.

Amongst the first generation of manual laser welding system users were jewellery designers and manufacturers. Today, however, one of the largest growth areas for this type of laser system is within the retail sector, with High Street Jewellers and Repair Workshops recognising that the laser is an indispensable tool for jewellery repair. Rofin’s StarWeld Performance laser welder allows the skill and innovation of the jeweller to be enhanced by the precision joining technology of the laser. The components are held in the hands underneath the laser beam, with the precise location of the laser weld accurately viewed through a microscope. Manual laser welding allows platinum, gold, silver, stainless steel and titanium together with other metals and alloys, to be joined together without the use of soldering.  A laser weld is strong and pure even in areas where it would be hard to gain access through any other joining technique. More often than not if you can see the joint you can weld it.

Manual or Automatic – the choice is yours
StarWeld Select is an ergonomically designed and fully integrated laser welding system. The system includes four high precision axes which can be controlled manually by use of a joystick or operated under full CNC control. This concept provides a high degree of flexibility for welding applications on a wide range of products, including medical device components. A flow controlled exhaust system with HEPA filters is also incorporated and a closed loop cooling system enables continuous operation. StarWeld Select offers the user as much automation as they desire, with the minimum of complexity. All parameters are easily adjusted using the multi-function joystick and the large colour touch screen.

Precision laser welding of medium to large work pieces
When we think of the word “laser” we also automatically and quite rightly associate the word “precision” with the technology. However, it is also easy to make the incorrect assumption that “precision” is only associated with “small” or ”miniature” components. The StarWeld Integral laser welding system combines ROFIN's concept of manual welding lasers with an extremely spacious working chamber. One of the unique features of the StarWeld Integral system is that it can be used in three distinct operational modes:-

  • As a manual welding laser having excellent ergonomic design
  • As a joystick-controlled deposit welding laser
  • As a high-precision CNC laser welding system

Incorporating four high-precision positioning axes, and with short set-up times and easy CNC programming, users can select as much automation as they desire, and perform the minimum of programming necessary. The large working chamber provides space for objects with an edge length of up to 500 mm. Motorised X, Y and Z axes are designed to move work pieces with a maximum weight of up to 500 kg quickly and precisely in all three planes, allowing rapid and accurate positioning of parts, from the most delicate to a heavy load.

Simple & Intuitive Operation
All Rofin laser systems are designed to be simple to use and depending upon the individual model, the operator interacts with the system via a membrane keyboard or TFT touch screen. The TFT touch screen offers a graphical user interface and enables simple process and parameter setting. Real time diagrams of the actual pulse shape are available to the user via this interface, and the system also has integrated help functions and multi level access authorisation ensuring safe and reliable operation at all times.

Rofin offers the most complete range of lasers for welding including CO2, YAG, Vanadate and Fibre lasers. Rofin also provide laser sources and solutions for Cutting and Marking applications.

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