Engineering shop installs pulsed laser system

Melbourne-based engineering shop, Ebtech Industries, has increased its welding capacity by installing a pulsed laser system. Andew Gotley explains how it fits into the company's existing range of processes.

Melbourne-based engineering shop, Ebtech Industries, has increased its welding capacity by installing a pulsed laser system. Andew Gotley explains how it fits into the company’s existing range of processes.

RECENTLY, Ebtech Industries installed a GSI JK450HP Nd:YAG Pulsed Laser System supplied by Raymax Lasers®.

The system was purchased to fill a requirement for a hi-tech welding process that fits between the current electron beam welding process and general welding processes such as TIG and MIG.

Like all GSI products, the JK450HP is engineered for production environments and is a laser for general engineering purposes, thus capable of processes such as welding, drilling and cutting. The laser is delivered via a fibre optic cable to welding or cutting optics that focus the laser for the process.

Since installing the system from Raymax Lasers®, the laser processing capability is developing and resulting in increasing sales of components and jobs that can be processed by laser welding.

Ebtech Industries is a Melbourne based engineering job shop that specialises in hi-tech welding and marking processes. Established for more than 30 years, Ebtech Industries provides electron beam welding and laser marking services to the automotive, aviation, manufacturing and general engineering industries.

The current electron beam welding process is not suitable for high volume components and requires a long set-up time and vacuum for optimum performance.

This was resulting in delays and added processing times. Coupled with the unsatisfactory results for small/thin components, Ebtech Industries looked for a more suitable process to augment the electron beam welding process capability.

Raymax Lasers® was approached early in the search and a number of different laser sources and integration solutions were investigated. During the investigation, Laser Power, Type (YAG or Diode, Pulsed or CW) and materials handling methods were examined.

Based on the applications and targeted markets, the GSI JK450HP – a 450W Average Power Pulsed Nd:YAG Laser System was selected as the preferred system. The GSI JK450HP, supplied by Raymax Lasers®, is the latest technology in pulsed Nd:YAG laser systems with a peak pulse power of 10kW and frequency 1000hz.

After selecting the Raymax Lasers® supplied GSI JK450HP Laser System, the integration options were evaluated. The choices included Robot vs. X-Y-Z Motion Stages and Local vs. International integration.

Due to the safety requirements of a 450W laser system, the entire work area required complete enclosure and double interlocks. Eventually, a Motoman robot and cell supplied by Robotic Automation was selected.

The solution selected was the GSI JK450HP Pulsed Nd:YAG laser system with a fibre optic cable and welding/cutting optics. A Motoman 20kg Payload robot was selected to manipulate the working optics.

The working optics and robot were completely enclosed inside a work cell with full interlocks for safety installed.

Raymax Lasers® provided the laser system including installation, commissioning and training while Robotic Automation provided the integration for the robot, robotic control systems and work cell enclosure.

The laser system is capable of welding and cutting various materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, aluminium, titanium and many other metals.

The reach of the robot allows components that can fit into a cubic metre to be cut or welded. In addition, a rotary chuck is included allowing circumferential welding and cutting of round jobs.

Since the system was commissioned there has been a steady increase in interest and jobs for the GSI JK450HP Laser Processing cell. *Andrew Gotley is general manager of Raymax Lasers®, 02 9979 7646, www.raymax.com.au.

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