Coherent and II-VI Partner on Turnkey Laser Welding Solution
Coherent and II-VI are teaming up to provide a turnkey solution for automotive laser welding, which they say will particularly benefit aluminum- and copper-welding applications.
Coherent and II‐VI Incorporated will collaborate on a supply agreement meant to enable faster process development and streamlined production services for automotive laser welding applications. Specifically, the combination of II-VI’s advanced laser processing heads and Coherent’s Adjustable Ring Mode (ARM) fiber laser technology delivers power adjustment and beam positioning on the fly to optimize welds at high speeds and qualities over large working areas, increasing process efficiency and decreasing ownership costs. The companies recommend this turnkey solution for high-strength alloy welding in automotive body-in-white applications and mass-production copper welding in electrification applications.
Coherent will provide customers with a single point of contact throughout the development and deployment of welding sub-systems combining the Coherent ARM fiber lasers and the II-VI RLSK and Highmotion 2D remote laser processing heads.
“System builders will get the best of both companies’ advanced technologies, with the logistical simplicity of a single source,” says Jarno Kangastupa, managing director of High-Power Fiber Lasers at Coherent. “The advanced optics and smart software of II-VI’s laser processing heads enable customers to fully leverage the Coherent ARM laser with unique ability to control, in real time, the laser beam shape and power distribution with great precision and over a wide dynamic range, delivering state-of-the-art remote laser welding.”
“The Coherent ARM laser and the II-VI remote laser processing heads each utilize unique designs that are very effective in suppressing back reflections,” adds Karlheinz Gulden, senior vice president of Laser Devices and Systems at II-VI, “thus enabling extremely high-quality welds in reflective materials such as aluminum and copper, which are nowadays widely used in automotive, including in e-mobility applications. This combination enables a constant laser power level of up to 8 kW, which is beneficial for many copper and aluminum applications.”
Hunt and Hunt’s president says adopting turn/mill machines was one of the most challenging endeavors his 55-year-old shop ever undertook. He also says it’s the best thing the shop could have done to become more efficient at contract work.
At first, abrasive waterjet machines were naturally at home in the fabricating shop. Today, certain models resemble a typical, fully enclosed CNC machine and they fit well in a machining job shop setting.
The potential benefits of using waterjet technology to produce parts or part features smaller than 300 microns are compelling. Developers and researchers are getting close to breaking the barriers that stand in the way of micromachining in the 150- to 200-micron range and below.