Portable Inline Laser Repair

Everything goes much faster with repair by the IQ laser.

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Production tools often have to be demounted with considerable effort, even due to small defects. This problem belongs to the past. Extremely compact Nd:YAG laser welding equipment with a basic footprint of 0.2 m² now comes to the rescue. A newly developed IQ Laser introduced worldwide has a short ROI period thanks to the inline repair technology,  states O.R. Lasertechnologies GmbH (Dieburg, Germany; Elk Grove Village, IL).
It takes a lot of effort to weld a 10-tonne injection mold in a conventional way. Investigations have shown that around 15 hours are needed for mold demounting, transport, handling, actual welding, post-welding work, the spotting press and mold remounting. In addition to all of this, there is downtime of the injection molding machine, as well as costs of transport, etc.

Everything goes much faster with repair by the IQ Laser. It takes 15 minutes to position the IQ Laser directly at the injection molding machine, laser treatment half an hour, post-welding work directly at the injection molding machine and restarting the machine a further one and a half hours. That makes together 2.5 hours – instead of 15!”, according to the company.

With an average power of 55 watts, peak pulse performance of 6 kW and pulse energy of 60 Joule, application possibilities of the IQ Laser are almost unlimited. The compact IQ Laser finds its classic use in mold and toolmaking, but inline laser welding in aircraft construction or in the energy sector are also entirely normal applications for the equipment.

The IQ Laser product is without any worldwide competition. This is also because the easy operation of the IQ Laser can be learned rapidly, even by experienced TIG (tungsten inert gas) welders. It is sufficient to set performance, frequency and pulse time and the laser can be already brought into operation. The focus can be set between 0.2 and 1.2 mm directly on the hand-held welding head. Pulse time can be varied from 0.2 to 30 milliseconds, depending on the 1.0 to 20 Hertz pulse frequency. The full range of laser welding wires in diameters from 0.2 to 0.5 millimetres can be used.

The welder watches the work as it progresses via a 10” touch-screen display on which all laser parameters are displayed. The camera image has 10x magnification and shows the operator the precise point of contact of the laser via a crosshair in the display.  The safety required in the working environment is guaranteed by a sensor built into the hand-operated welding head that monitors the situation and contact with the component being welded. The operator can only set off the laser beam once there is an obvious distance to the work area. This ensures that the welding points remain constantly small and precise. The required laser energy is applied to a point of just 0.4 mm within several milliseconds. Additive material is melted together with the base material within the shortest possible time, and unnecessary heat input into the mold is avoided thus preventing cracks or deformation. Laser welding takes place with a contour that closely follows the required end result, so that subsequent work is reduced to an absolute minimum.