The newest laser welding system from Dukane Corp., St. Charles, Ill., allows for clear-to-clear plastic welding without the need for absorptive additives. The system is targeted to plastics processors from various industries including medical, electronics, and appliances looking for an advantage in clear-to-clear laser welding.
Dukane’s Laser Welding System incorporates a recently-developed 2-micron laser with what is said to be a greatly increased absorption by clear polymers. Additionally, it reportedly enables a highly controlled melting through the thickness of optically clear parts. A new beam delivery system integrates both programmable multi-axes servo gantry and a scan head, supported by the proprietary LaserLinQ software which harmonizes the action of both components moving the beam. This reportedly assures highly precise and controllable beam delivery when welding mid-size and large components.
LaserLinQ is also said to provide users with the ability to break complex weld patterns into separate geometric segments, modify each segment independently and assign different welding parameters to each segment. A CCTV camera integrated within the machine enables a live weld preview on HMI screen and the ability to directly monitor and record welding cycles for further analysis. All laser enclosures are Class I CDRH certified and utilize laser-safe glass viewing windows. This system is said to allow for rapid changeover of a wide variety of highly specialized tooling cassettes. The tools, as a standard, incorporate binary tool ID recognition for automatic weld recipe recall. They can support multi-cavity function, multiple feature detection, vision systems, and independent clamping systems in an effort to compensate for part variations.
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Metal parts are made by laser sintering, and plastic prototypes are made by inkjet or FDM processes. Plastic production parts could be next.