A New Method For Laser Drilling
Scanlab and Stoba, machinery manufacturing companies together have developed an intelligent measuring system, the Focus One laser machine, that automatically corrects deviations in a laser machine in the µm range. The processing machine is integrated with the five-axis precsys microprocessing system with a femtosecond laser and optical measurement for automatic correction of drilling. This gives significant amounts of corrections and thereby avoids defective work.
Processes in industrial productions, requiring high accuracy, generally involve greater labour costs. A significant amount of savings can be made by reducing the procedures such as measurement of operations and machine operating time readjustments. The purpose of the two companies’ collaboration was to resolve this issue and hence develop a stable laser machining process for micro-drilling that could automatically inspect and initiate adjustments when necessary.
In the new machine, the micro-drilling head is connected to an optical measuring system via EtherCAT. The integrated software for machine control analyzes the measuring results and automatically adapts the process parameters as required. For example, the system automatically corrects the drilling diameter based on an individually set threshold.
Due to its reduced set-up times, the machine gives a higher throughput by enabling more freedom in production planning whilst at the same time reduced staff requirements. More importantly, with the capability of automatic adaption concerning type changes (different drilling patterns) and integrated measuring procedures, the system enables the simultaneous operation of several machines.
The greatest benefits from this machine can be achieved in large-batch production of cost-intensive workpieces making the target markets, the medical electronics, the automotive sector and the aerospace industries.