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Lasers in Industry

Updated on September 15, 2014

Industrial Lasers

Lasers have been around for years - remember the image of James Bond narrowly escaping being lasered in half by the evil Goldfinger? But lasers have come a long way since then, and are now used in a raft of tasks in industry including:

* Laser Cutting

* Laser Marking

* Laser Welding

Of these the most interesting is probably laser marking, as this can be used in a variety of ways in different industries.

Laser marking for car components and parts
Laser marking for car components and parts

Laser Marking

Laser marking and laser engraving is described on Wikipedia as "the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object" which doesn't sound particularly exciting, but when you consider the speed and accuracy of lasers and the permanent nature of laser marking, this becomes a very useful system for many industries. Add to this the ability to mark a variety of materials such as aluminium silicon, stainless steel, titanium and carbide as well as some plastics, and the potential soars.

Lasers are used to mark objects with numbers, codes and information such as:

Marking for medical supplies, implants and equipment - bottles, labels, tubes and blister packs

Marking for the Tools and Metal Industries.

Component laser marking for the aerospace industry.

Marking for the packaging industry.

Marking semiconductor materials found in radios, computers, telephones, and many other electronic devices.

In the motor industry lasers are marking everything from ball bearings to crankshafts, Night-Day buttons to VIN chassis numbers and engine blocks.

Laser cutting wood
Laser cutting wood

Laser Cutting

Industrial lasers can cut a variety of materials of varying thickness to just about any shape. Laser cutting is quick, clean, accurate and adaptable and is used by many businesses across a wide range of industries.

Many materials can be cut by a laser but the most common are:

  • Steel, including stainless steel
  • Aluminium
  • Textiles
  • Organics (leather, cork, wax, etc)
  • Plastics
  • Wood, paper and cardboard

Again it's the speed and accuracy that gives laser cutting such an advantage over more traditional methods and the range and variety of laser cutting machines.

Laser welding
Laser welding

Laser Welding

Laser welding is used to join multiple pieces of metal through the laser beam's concentrated heat source This allows for narrow, deep welds and fast welding rates.

Typical uses for laser welding are:

  • Mould and tool construction and repair
  • Repair of turbine blades, machine components, housings
  • Medical part production
  • Sensor production (micro-welding, sheath tube cutting and scribing)
  • Precision Engineering
  • Dental Laboratories
  • Jewellery Repair and Production

Cylindrical Sensor Laser Welding

Laser welding and laser cutting devices made by ALPHA LASER GmbH.

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