A new fiberoptic system for laser-power delivery holds up under the stress of welding highly reflective materials.
GSI Lumonics, Farmington Hills, Mich., has engineered a fiberoptic system for delivering laser power for welding. The Luminator fiberoptic system lets users weld highly reflective materials like copper and aluminum at full power without equipment damage caused by back reflection.
At the onset of laser welding or drilling, 80-90% of the laser's light may reflect back onto the fibers, until the welding surface breaks down. If not handled properly, this reflected light damages the fibers, requiring repeated purchases of costly replacement fibers. To safely handle back reflection, the patented Luminator technology takes the heat away from the terminations where it is routed to a detector that indicates to the user how much back reflection is being produced at any given time. This closed-loop feedback triggers an automatic system shutdown if the amount of back reflection reaches beyond acceptable levels, thereby protecting the fibers from damage.
Each termination is plug-in and pre-aligned, which reduces maintenance time from hours to minutes. Users are no longer required to manually align each fiber to the laser beam because every fiber is factory pre-adjusted.
The Luminator system is now standard on all new industrial welding products developed at GSI Lumonics, including the new JK802 and JK1002 continuous-wavelength lasers, as well as the updated JK700TR series pulsed-laser-system product line. The fibers are available in a range of multiplexing options to minimize process downtime. Retrofit kits are also available for systems currently in the field.