Tech

7 Ways Laser Technology is Changing the Manufacturing Industry

It is a modern technology that is becoming more and more needed in almost all manufacturing industries. The use of it is the most accurate and economical method available, for some and the only. It is not fully utilized due to insufficient knowledge. This nanotechnology is a method of the future based on the realization of miniature products, subassemblies, assemblies and even systems.

The use of it increases the quality of work and the flexibility of production and diagnostics. In military technology, industry and medicine today, laser machines-devices of different purposes, constructions and different types are encountered.

1. Metal processing

Source: YouTube

In the metal processing industry, they have found application in metalworking, measuring and quality control. In metal processing, they are used for: drilling, cutting, marking, contouring, welding and thermal treatment.

They consist of: a laser, an optical beam transfer system, a workpiece, a coordinate workbench, an energy supply system, and a control unit. Their treatment of the material is based on the conversion of highly concentrated light energy, obtained by stimulated radiation into heat. Unlike a conventional tool, it does not have to be procured for production or stored.

It produces a uniform, focusable laser beam of light that can be concentrated and directed with great precision. A beam is a tool in the machining system. The control unit is a complex hardware and software system whose task is to process blocks of program information, control multiaxial displacements, parameters, processing parameters and sensors.

That type of machine for industrial applications began to be manufactured thirty years ago. The operation of laser machines can be a danger not only to the user but also to other people over a considerable distance. Due to this potential danger, only persons trained in the operation should operate such machines.

2. Welding

Source: SciTech Europa

Laser welding in industrial production is constantly increasing. In almost all sectors of the industry, from microelectronics to shipbuilding, and especially in the automotive industry, the main advantages of this technology can be reaped: high power density or low heat input, narrow heat loss, small deformations, high welding speed, high joint quality, access on one side and high flexibility.

Major disadvantages such as high investment costs and increased joint preparation costs can be compensated for by high welding speed and unnecessary post-processing of the joint resulting from small deformations of the workpiece after welding and high joint quality. These advantages enable the welding of thin layers and lightweight structures, as well as welding of machined parts, which after welding go directly into service.

Effects of productivity growth are achieved only when the structure is adapted to welding, when there are no problems in joining the production process and when the requirements for precise joint preparation and precise guidance of the beam are met.

The high power density of that type of welding allows welding with low heat input into the material, resulting in very high cooling rates. High cooling rates, when welding steel, lead to a large increase in hardness in the weld area.

3. Engraving

Source: Scenso

In this process, no ink or tools are used that consume the surface. Processing materials in this way has many advantages. No contact, the process is dry and clean, flexible and economical. The only tool used in processing is a laser beam. It allows you to do whatever you want. To find more about this type of machines, check this.

4. Heat treatment

Source: Banim reklame

Local heating of the surface layer of the heat-treated material can be efficiently achieved with it. In this way, almost all known forms of thermal and chemical-thermal treatment can be carried out so far, which have the task of improving the mechanical or physicochemical characteristics of a given surface for treatment.

This can be applied during, for example, sheet metal bending. Laser machining can be used to roughly shape sheet metal products by bending. It bends thin sheet metal parts and profile pieces without tools.

The absence of tools and simpler machining principles reduce the cost of machining and increase the efficiency and flexibility of bending sheet metal. The process is suitable in the conditions of individual and small-scale production, for parts of complex profiles of difficult to process materials

It also applies to corrosion removal. A new laser treatment process that successfully removes corrosion on metals, even faster than e.g. old color. The oxygen that is trapped in the corrosion layer is absorbed mainly by photon energy. In this way, the corrosion is cleanly removed from the material leaving the surface of the material clean and ready for new coatings or treatment

By controlling the closed loop, during this treatment, it does not damage the material below the corrosion layer or cause any deformation of the material, therefore there are no physical, structural or chemical changes. In this way, it is also possible to process soft materials (plastic, rubber, glass…) from which the old paint, coating, etc. is to be removed.

5. Application in industry

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the industry, they are often used to process materials and different technological processes can be used. It is based on the use of light energy in the form of a photonic jet, which, upon contact with the sample material, causes its local melting and evaporation. It is also possible to process very hard and even hardest materials, such as diamond, which can be used to make embossed surfaces, engraving, etc.

Gas and solid state lasers are used to treat metals and nonmetals. They are used in industry specifically for: material cutting, welding, local heat treatment, coating, melting, small hole drilling, product inspection, measurement, etc.

6. Medical purposes

Source: Lumenis

Lasers are widely used in medicine primarily as a surgical technique, but in many fields of medicine they are also used as non-surgical methods. There are several studies examining the real effects of laser therapy aimed at determining the optimal parameters for the use of it in medicine.

Areas in which they are most used are: dentistry, ophthalmology (treatments for eye disorders), dermatology, orthopedics (treatment of bones, ligaments and muscles), otolaryngology (treatments for disorders of the ear, throat and nose), urology, neurosurgery, oncology (treatments cancer), pulmonology (treatment for respiratory disorders), gastroenterology (treatment for gastrointestinal disorders), etc.

7. The military industry

Source: The Times of Israel

Laser technology is widely used in the military industry, and its use is done in the same way as in other industries (metal processing), but in accordance with the specifics that are characteristic of this type of production.

The possible use of lasers in combat conditions and in the event of a war situation in modern armies is limited mainly to three functions, target marking and aiming, direct effect on the target and as a means of communication.

Conclusion:

We hope that this article helped you understand the importance of developing this type of technology. He is present in various fields. If you are interested in industrial manufacturing, join in and support the automation of technology that has contributed to productivity and reduced labor costs. This is one complete turnaround when it comes to manufacturing – forget about manual processes!

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