PRIMES ‘LaserQualityMonitor’ for industrial high power lasers

Continuously increasing demands for quality control as well as more tightly defined process parameters necessitate the qualification of laser beam sources in serial production.

PRIMES GmbH demonstrates the new generation of the established LaserQualityMonitor (LQM+) with greater accuracy, larger flexibility and a vastly reduced measurement time. It has never been easier to qualify both collimated and fibre coupled lasers.

In today’s industrial material processing environment, the laser as a highly accurate tool, is indispensable. In order to ensure the superior quality of laser processes, both the laser beam source and the beam delivery must be in perfect working order. In general, daily application, the user may encounter issues such as contaminated optics, ageing of components or misalignments, which can have a negative influence on the beam quality and / or power levels. Both can have severe consequences for the processing quality and, thus, lead to the production of scrap parts. Therefore, it is imperative to regularly monitor the critical processing parameters, especially around the focal plane.

The most precise method for monitoring the quality of a laser beam source is the determination of the diffraction index M². A typical measurement of the beam quality of the laser beam is done by using an imaging system mounted on a mechanical axis. The imaging system moves along the beam propagation direction (hereafter the z-axis) and through the beam waist, whilst taking images of the power density distribution. The beam diameter d at a certain position z is determined from each image. The diffraction index M² is calculated from the beam waist diameter d0 and the full angle far field divergence Θ as well as the wavelength λ of the laser.

There are various prerequisites for this procedure for the determination of the diffraction index. More specifically, the measurement must be sufficiently accurate and reproducible, whilst also being sufficiently fast in order to not obstruct the flow of production to an unnecessary degree. The PRIMES LaserQualityMonitor (LQM+) was developed and optimised to fulfil these requirements. Typical applications are the development, acceptance and incoming inspection of industrial laser beam sources as well as the alignment and test of collimation systems.

The PRIMES LaserQualityMonitor LQM+ offers the perfect solution for the qualification of laser beam sources in serial production, due to the highly precise measurement of the beam quality of collimated or fibre guided beams. The user obtains a combination of attenuation, absorption, power measurement and beam profile measurement in one device, which is unique on the market. The LQM+ delivers industry leading, standard conforming measurements within a few seconds using the automated measurement function with a single click of a button. Several features of the LaserDiagnosticsSoftware LDS, such as the production mode for example, enable a streamlining of serial laser production.

Contact: Christof Blumenstein