Laser Highlights

The number of different laser applications is surprising, yet it continues to grow. Here's a look at a few.

Columns From: 9/15/2009 Production Machining, ,

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Chris Felix

When I was in college, excited by the prospect of combining a growing technology with my writing interests, I took a number of laser technology classes. I also worked an internship as a technical writer for a manufacturer of laser micrometers. I learned a lot about the technical functionality of lasers and was exposed to some of the latest ideas for putting that functionality to work. Even today, though, I continue to be amazed by the number of applications for lasers in manufacturing.

Companies such as Blum LMT and General Inspection offer products for laser measurement for faster and more accurate gaging of diameters, lengths, tapers, straightness, concentricity and threads. These devices virtually eliminate operator error in these applications for much less variability from part to part. See an example of this type of system that includes eight lasers positioned around the circumference of a part to measure all features to print tolerances at rates as high as 600 parts per minute.

Other laser applications include cutting, drilling, welding, marking, surface treatment and even micromachining. DMG America offers its Lasertec line for drilling and precision 2D and 3D cutting. Electrox has marking systems, including the Cobra line, that utilize a range of technologies to address a number of marking applications. The high machining accuracy and throughput advantages of lasers also lend themselves nicely to precision, industrial micromachining work (read more here).

New applications for lasers are being implemented regularly, and many companies are up for the challenge. To locate suppliers to meet your laser needs, visit the Supplier Directory at productionmachining.com.

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