1 August 2011

The YW52 high-power Welding Head

Tracking that is transverse to the welding direction using a distance-controlled laser spot - the integrated WobbleTracker welds seams that are exactly positioned and only as wide as necessary!

Welding variable joint positions is a challenge which not every welding head can master. The tools of choice here are intelligent welding heads. They measure the position of the joint in order to place the weld seam at the correct position. Every welding task also requires a seam width that is adapted to the application - and the effective width of the laser beam can be flexibly optimised from one seam to another, ensuring a stable process. The weld seam width is thus only as wide as necessary, enabling the highest possible welding speeds.

At the LASER World of PHOTONICS fair, Precitec showed the YW52 high power welding head with controlled welding position and weld width. All the functions for it are fully integrated into the new YW52 welding head, without the need for additional external sensors, cameras or external linear positioning drives. The WobbleTracker uses the welding optics to coaxially measure the joint transversely and in the Z direction, only a few millimetres in front of the TCP. The position acquired is immediately transferred to the controllable deflection mirror (also fully integrated) and a pre-selected Wobble amplitude and frequency is then overlaid. The welding head is capable of completely independent operation, controlling the laser spot in two dimensions without the need for additional linear drives and guiding it to the welding (joint) position. The minimum pre-process times (less than one tenth of a second) and the optimal distribution of the energy input per unit length over the weld seam width guarantee short cycle times in a fully optimized process.

The WobbleTracker is ideal for applications with differing weld seams or those which require a major retrofit. Seam widening can be freely adjusted by means of an analogue interface - there is no need for any additional control. A synchronous laser power control system is also available - this avoids hot spots at the reversal points.
Based on the modular concept of the YW30 Welding Head, the YW52 is designed to operate with maximum aperture and minimal overall size and is suitable for use with fibre, disk or diode lasers in the high power segment. In the basic version, the head is inexpensively priced, and its range of functions can be expanded to match the requirements of customer-specific applications. All well-known pre-process, in-process and post-process modules by Precitec can be integrated for fully automated production.

New Solutions for Deposition Welding with Lasers
Deposition welding improves the wear-resistance and corrosion properties of a work piece or work piece area. With a high degree of accuracy and an accurate profile, narrow, thin, fine-structured functional layers of annealing, hardwearing or abrasion-resistant materials can be applied to economical basic material. Precitec offers various processing heads for this process.

Precitec presented a new development for the first time at the LASER - the small, compact coaxial cladding head YC30. This head is suitable for standard laser powers and can be used in both horizontal and vertical positions.

The well-known coaxial cladding head YC52 with different nozzle concepts was presented with a new motorised collimation adjustment system. This enables track widths to be automatically modified by means of a focal position adjustment device.

Various sensors are incorporated for monitoring the optical components and the process itself, also enabling both cladding heads to be used in automated production. In addition to detecting contamination, the protective window monitoring device can also determine the degree of contamination and the temperature of the protective windows. When setting up several layers, or in the case of inconsistent geometries, the integrated process monitoring sensors also ensure a consistent height and breadth for the deposition track.

Used together with the Laser Welding Monitor (LWM), you now have a system for process monitoring. All the relevant process data are continuously documented by the control system. The entire laser processing procedure can therefore be reliably reproduced - and the data is also a cornerstone for dependable quality control.

Fine Cutting System for Short Pulse Lasers

The fine-cutting market is on the upswing. Today, the ultra-short pulse laser with ever-shorter pulses and higher average power is making an increasing number of applications possible and… above all... economical. Precitec offers a very good solution for this: With its diffraction-limited broadband optical components, the fine cutting system FS fits exactly on to this UKP laser.

The System with integrated camera monitoring can be used for high-precision applications which require laser powers of up to 500 W. The outstanding beam quality and the high imaging quality of the optical components are a prerequisite for the manufacture of parts which are becoming ever-smaller and which have very complex geometry. Clearance widths of 10 µm were unheard of a few years ago - but today this is simply state-of-the-art for Precitec.

The TCP can be readjusted in the X/Y direction (repeatable operation) after an optics change and can thus be retained. The time required for readjustment after a nozzle, lens or protective window change can be significantly shortened by fading-in electronic cross-hairs. The adjustable, coaxial LED lighting provides optimal illumination, even during the process. An optically optimised system with a camera thus enables the online monitoring of the process. The recorded and saved camera data can be copied to a data disk for quality control purposes. The System can be operated with disk, fibre optic and Nd:YAG lasers.

Fast and safe 3D cutting by robot
The SolidCutter is at home with a wide range of applications in the industry. Well-known global companies are already using the system in many applications, like cutting sections and/or holes in finished vehicle bodies and underbodies, in hot-formed steel and in hydro-formed profiles.

Fast-reacting distance sensors with an integrated linear Z drive in a closed control loop guarantee constantly high cutting quality at high and variable speeds - even in the case of complex moulded components. The recently-conceived double chamber concept provides a hermetically sealed optical path without external purging air – and this is the prerequisite for a long service life for optical components, even in environmentally harsh conditions. Compressed air floods the drive chamber through an air filter, preventing contamination of the external chamber. A slim design and easily-accessed media connections in the upper head area make integration with automated systems simple and economical.

Sensor-supported 2D laser cutting with solid-state lasers

Modern fibre lasers, equipped with high-quality beams that approach theoretical limits, enable ever-higher cutting speeds in the thin metal sheet sector. The HP SSL Cutting Head with integrated, coordinated sensor technology transform this potential into productivity, quality and safe reliability.

In addition to the extremely fast, drift-free sensor system – which is also endowed with long-term stability - a new, monitored protective window cartridge for recording contamination levels and providing a presence check is now available. It enables the exactly-timed replacement of the protective windows – "not too early and never too late" - so the cutting process can now start directly after piercing. The recording of process radiation and a newly-developed cut tear detection system ensure that every cut fulfils the stipulated quality requirements. Temperature monitoring in the area of the sensor insert and back reflection monitoring of the laser beam make the head fail-safe and robust.

The replacement of lenses for various focal lengths is fast and easy thanks to pre-adjustable cartridges. The exchangeable cartridge for various focal lengths can also be equipped with a motor - this means it is no longer necessary to set the focus position manually for different material qualities and thicknesses, and the piercing process is accelerated in the case of really thick work surfaces. In this way, various sheet thicknesses can even be cut during the same cycle, without any manual intervention at all. The mechanical interface is identical for all HP1.5" cutting heads and this enables simple and standardised changing between CO2 lasers and fibre-coupled solid-state lasers.

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