08 Jun 2010
Two big names in the optics industry join forces to develop ultrafast laser systems for industrial materials processing.
Raydiance of the US has announced that it is teaming up with Rofin of Germany to introduce femtosecond laser technology to industrial production. Raydiance is the self-proclaimed creator of the first compact, reliable, industrial grade femtosecond laser platform, while Rofin specializes in laser sources and solutions for industrial materials processing.
Rofin's first solution incorporating Raydiance laser technology is the StarCut Tube Femto, said to be the first complete system solution to offer cold laser cutting for makers of medical devices, such as cardiovascular stents.
"We are seeing an explosion of innovation in the medical device market powered by Raydiance," said Barry Schuler, Raydiance's chairman and CEO. "But as customers move from design to manufacturing, they require 21st century solutions that integrate sophisticated motion control, beam delivery, visioning systems and software for their factory floors. Rofin is a bold innovator and the clear worldwide leader in integrated laser processing solutions. We are thrilled with Rofin's decision to partner with Raydiance. This is a significant validation both for Raydiance and for ultrafast laser technology."
The StarCut Tube Femto cuts sensitive materials such as gold, platinum, shape memory alloys and low-melting point polymers with high precision and cut quality, and no thermal effect. These unique capabilities are enabling totally new medical device designs while improving quality and manufacturing costs on existing products.
Thomas Merk, chief operating officer of Rofin Laser Micro and Laser Marking, added: "Medical device manufacturing is just the beginning of the journey. There is a multitude of applications in various markets – photovoltaic and microelectronic components, to name just two – that will benefit from ultrafast cold laser ablation. And there is no doubt that Raydiance is the innovation leader in industrial-grade femtosecond laser technology. Its ability to deliver superior performance, reliability, and 'smart' software control is transforming this unique technology."
Raydiance's ultrafast platform uses an all-fibre architecture and is called the Smart Light MD. The source operates at the eye-safe wavelength of 1552 nm and comes with software that enables complete autonomous control of the system, fast warm-up and flexible operation.
The newest Raydiance ultrafast platform is the Smart Light MD 50, which provides variable energy per pulse of 1–50 µJ, variable repetition rate of 1 Hz – 100 kHz and pulse width of less than 800 fs (typical). For lower energy applications, Raydiance offers the Smart Light MD 10 (10 µJ/pulse, 1 Hz – 300 kHz, pulse width <800 fs).