Lasers Go Beyond Making Their Mark

Today the laser plays a vital role in many areas, including research, communication, industry, medicine, environmental care and, of course, manufacturing.

Columns From: 6/19/2012 Production Machining, ,

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Chris Felix

Chris Felix

Let’s face it. Lasers are pretty cool. When the laser was first developed in the late 50s, it didn’t really have a designated purpose and was referred to as “a solution waiting for a problem.” But it was clear to many that a use would be found. Today the laser plays a vital role in many areas, including research, communication, industry, medicine, environmental care and, of course, manufacturing.

Companies such as Dapra and Technifor offer laser systems that are well suited for marking critical information onto components made from metal, plastic and other materials because they offer the flexibility to perform a number of marking processes. Read more about such processes in “Some Laser Marking Basics.”

But lasers in manufacturing go well beyond marking technology. Products from Blum LMT, General Inspection and many others perform laser measurement for faster and more accurate gaging of diameters, lengths, tapers, straightness, concentricity and threads. These devices virtually eliminate operator error in these operations 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.

The precision a laser can provide also can make it the ideal tool for certain tight-tolerance metalworking. Micromachining is one example that may require the clean edges and burr-free finishes that a laser is capable of producing. You can read more about how laser technology combines the high machining accuracy and throughput required for precision industrial micromachining work in “The Laser’s Role in Micromachining Metals.”

For your other manufacturing-related laser equipment needs, check out Production Machining’s Supplier Directory.

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