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Laser Processing Equipment and Services

Originally Published MPMN June 2004


Laser Processing Equipment and Services

Micromachining services

Contract UV laser micromachining services for a variety of applications range from semiconductor wafer processing to biomedical and blue LED scribing. The company's core capabilities include expertise in processing materials at UV wave-lengths of 355, 351, 308, 266, 248, 193, and 157 nm. A fully equipped applications development laboratory is staffed with laser scientists. To accommodate prototyping to high-volume production, a contract manufacturing facility is equipped with industrial excimer laser workstations. Applications include microfluidics, LEDs, sensors, ink-jets, chip-scale packaging, device-scale packaging, wire stripping, optic waveguides, and biosensors. Micromachining of plastics, ceramics, hard dielectrics, glass, and metals is also available. The company provides high-resolution marking and microlithography to 1-µm resolution. JPSA Laser, Hollis, NH 

Precision laser cutting

High-speed laser technology serves as an alternative to using custom dies in some short-run applications. The process produces specialty-cut sheet metal up to 0.125 in. thick from cold-rolled or stainless-steel stock. The laser technology is suitable for prototyping and other applications where the cost of dies cannot be amortized over long product cycles. According to the company, work typically subject to long delays and high costs associated with custom tooling can be completed in days instead of months. The Artus Corp., Englewood, NJ 

Package scoring

Contoured laser scoring produces easy-tear tracks in polymeric medical packaging films. The AcuTear process offers flexible shapes or contours, and maintains the integrity of the barrier layer at manufacturing speeds up to 1000 ft/min. The scoring accommodates cross web or web direction converting. The basic system configuration consists of one or more CO2 lasers ranging in power from 50 to 1000 W, a laser chiller, controller, and galvo or fixed beam. Featuring software and user interface, the machinery can be integrated into the customer's existing production line. Preco Laser Systems, Somerset, WI 

Cutting and welding capabilities

Around-the-clock, in-house laser cutting, welding, and marking services produce materials as thin as 0.005 in. A multidisciplinary precision component manufacturer uses technology such as the Mazak Turbo CNC laser equipped with dual pallets. Complete laser services are housed under one roof to handle medical manufacturing projects. Peridot Corp., Pleasanton, CA 

Laser marking

A fiber laser can be used to mark a wide range of production components. Each station provides a touch screen operator interface and a laptop PC to input the marking program. Sliding component drawers are locked during operation, and a photoelectric touch button activates the process. Some models include automatic component unloading once a cycle is completed. Each laser marker features a fume extraction unit. Operational control with an interlock safety circuit is integrated with the machinery to provide turnkey, production-ready marking. Invotec Engineering Inc., Miamisburg, OH 

PCB-processing system

A UV laser system is designed to perform a number of tasks in the production of printed circuit boards. The MicroLine Cut 350 can cut both flexible and rigid boards, skive cover layers, drill microvias, and machine precise pockets in microwave boards. The laser can be used for on-demand chemical-free production of polytetrafluoroethy- lene circuits directly from design data. With a working area of 151¼2 ¥ 12 in., the machine uses the same scanner and high-power UV laser source as found in the company's higher-end models. LPKF Laser & Electronics, Wilsonville, OR 

Microfabrication services

A combination of laser processing technologies support miniaturization in medical devices. Services include solid-state UV micromachining, precision welding, pulsed laser deposition, surface texturing, and precision marking and engraving. The company's experience includes fabricating and joining medical components comprised of metals, ceramics, and polymers. Mound Laser & Photonics Center Inc., Miamisburg, OH 

High-precision lasers

High-precision lasers and workstations can be used to process plastics, glass, ceramics, thin-film coatings, and thin metals with sizes down to micron levels. The firm's contract processing services incorporate lasers with both infrared and UV wavelengths. UV lasers with short pulses enable clean processing with a minimal heat-affected zone, while IR models provide economic, high-speed processing, according to the company. Custom laser workstations with machine vision, motion control, part handling and robotics, and custom software are also offered. PhotoMachining Inc., Pelham, NH 

Custom laser processing

A custom laser processing facility with more than 40 industrial machines now features excimer laser capability. The company also offers CO2 lasers to 2500 W and Nd:YAG lasers to 400 W, both in single- and multiple-beam formats. Performed on metals, plastics, ceramics, stents, and composite materials, services include laser welding and electropolishing, machining, cutting, and drilling. Custom cable and wire harness assembly services are available. A metallurgical lab, R&D and engineering capabilities, total quality management, and a just-in-time program support prototyping through production services. Laserage Technology Corp., Waukegan, IL 

Laser marking system

A laser marking system is available for part and labeling identification applications. The LE-100SD uses Vanadate technology, an efficient alternative to Nd:YAG. It creates permanent, precision, sterile marks on metals and plastics. The system is suitable for any operation that needs fast, accurate marking of text, bar codes, 2-D data matrices, and logos on medical equipment and parts. The system uses a standard 110- V outlet, is completely portable, and can be used as a turnkey solution with an included laptop computer or easily integrated into existing operations or production lines. RMI Laser Div., Lafayette, CO 

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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