Product Code: PIC2008_904

New Developments in Co2 Laser Technology Enable New Applications
Frank Gaebler, Coherent Inc; Bloomfield CT USA
Presented at PICALO 2008

Sealed off CO2 lasers are proven in industry for high volume manufacturing applications such as cutting and drilling, processing of glass and ceramics, and flexography. Cutting of thin metal, plastic or organic materials like leather, wood, paper textiles has become an established application in the market. Cutting of glass and PCB materials is only now becoming mature. Laser users vary from job shop and automotive to semiconductor manufacturing; from dusty and oily manufacturing floors to clean room environments. In comparison to High Power CO2 laser applications with multiple kW, sealed off laser sources are different not only in power and size but also in terms of cost of ownership, mode quality and ease of integration, diagnostics, control and serviceability.

It has become clear that the global industry is seeking higher performance, increased productivity, and better yields and up-time with a decrease in cost of ownership from the sealed off laser manufacturers offering sealed off lasers, similar to follow the industrial standards of high power CO2 lasers. Coherent fulfils the customer demands by introducing a new member to its field proven family of DIAMOND lasers.

The new Diamond E-400 is the first sealed, pulsed CO2 laser to offer average power of 400 watts or peak power >1 kW in a fully integrated, compact package. Incorporating the RF power supply within the laser head completely eliminates the RF umbilical in the Diamond E-400, increasing laser reliability. The integrated design mounting concept and beam parameters simplify its integration into a workstation or robotic tool. Mode quality and pulsing capability will enable new applications, and improve existing ones. A full suite of on board diagnostics will lead to proactive maintenance in the future.

The objective of this paper is to introduce the benefits of this new CO2 laser and to compare application results achieved with new and existing and latest laser technology. Finally, a roadmap of future CO2 laser developments will be suggested.

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