In the past few years, we have found that ultra-short pulse (USP) lasers are being used more and more for medical device manufacturing – from stents and catheters, to wire stripping and balloon texturing. The level of quality and dimensional accuracy needed fits well with the USP lasers, which do a great job of drilling, cutting, skiving, texturing and machining both plastic and metal-plastic combinations.
Owing to their very short pulse durations - sometimes less than the target material's conduction time - and very high peak powers, ultrafast (femtosecond and picosecond) laser systems offer unique material processing possibilities such as “cold machining” of parts with no/negligible heat affected zone. In fact, this short pulse width/high peak power, combination enables processing capability of almost any material, including metal, plastics, ceramics or glass.
Topics: ultra-fast lasers
The nanosecond fiber laser is the most recent addition to AMADA MIYACHI's broad portfolio of micro welding solutions. Its output parameters are a bit different than other laser welding sources like pulsed Nd:YAG ,quasi-continuous-wave (QCW) fiber and the CW fiber laser. As the name suggests, the nanosecond fiber laser’s pulse widths are in the nanosecond range - under 250 nanoseconds (ns) - with pulse energies around 1 millijoule (mJ).
Are you looking to use lasers for micro welding? If so, you have four excellent options: pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) and three different fiber lasers: continuous wave (CW) fiber, quasi continuous wave (QCW) fiber, and nanosecond fiber. In today’s post, I am going to compare the pulsed Nd:YAG laser with the three fiber laser options, and give some general comments on why and when one might be chosen over the other. I’m going to follow that up with another post with more information on how to choose.
How would we survive without battery packs? Whether to power our latest portable electronic device, power tool, or hybrid/electric vehicle, the removable battery pack is essential to our everyday lives. Tab-to-terminal connection is one of the key battery pack welding applications. Manufacturers need equipment, systems, and automated lines that meet quality and production requirements for these products. Resistance and laser technologies are both good options for integration into production lines, either as standalone units or for automated operation.
Topics: battery pack welding
Not long ago I worked on an interesting project with an aerospace customer looking to develop an in-house laser welding process for a major turbine component. Thanks to our joint efforts, they were able to bring the operation in-house, achieving an impressive seven to eleven day cycle reduction. What’s more, the new process helped them reduce their inventory, translating to a large cost savings - all without sacrificing quality.
Topics: laser welding
Fading or disappearing laser marks on medical devices? You're not alone. It's a daily battle for many contract manufacturers and end users, and it’s a topic I am often asked about. People especially want to know what they can do to make passivation resistant marks on their medical device parts and surgical tools in order to meet unique device identification (UDI) requirements.
By now, most of you are at least vaguely familiar with the landmark law that gradually phases in the requirement for manufacturers of medical devices to place unique device identification (UDI) marks on all of their parts. Are you on track for meeting the deadlines for the direct marks that are required?
The stent and tube cutting technology coming on the market today is miles ahead of what we’ve been working with for years – and that’s music to the ears of many, especially in the medical device industry. Stent and hypo tube cutting has been around for some time, but as demand continues to grow for these types of devices, cut quality and production rates are more important than ever to meet the demand and make the necessary return on investment.
The laser is a high energy density process that provides a unique welding capability – maximum penetration with minimal heat input. There are three basic weld modes, which correspond to the level of peak power density contained within the focus spot size: conduction mode, transition keyhole mode, and penetration or keyhole mode. Figure 1 is a graphic illustration of the three weld modes.