Jenoptik's laser development lights the way

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Keywords

Citation

(2004), "Jenoptik's laser development lights the way", Assembly Automation, Vol. 24 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/aa.2004.03324daf.002

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Jenoptik's laser development lights the way

Jenoptik's laser development lights the way

Keywords: Lasers, Welding, Plastics

Jenoptik Automation Technology has designed a special type of laser welding system to achieve extremely high standards of weld quality.

Already attracting interest from automobile lighting manufacturers, the system – designated VOTAN W – ensures distortion – and mark-free welding of various types of lenses to a range of body reflectors. The tool-free, contact-free technology attains geometric and thermal precision to produce a weld line so clean and aesthetically pleasing that it appears as a style feature when seen through the lens (Plate 1).

Jenoptik has achieved these results by harnessing diode laser energy, which transmits through the upper material and is absorbed into the secondary material, creating a weld at the interface. The laser and specially-designed handling systems ensure that the energy required for welding can be applied to the bonding surface in a controlled shape and at a controlled speed, eliminating the need for structural elements, such as stiffeners.

Plate 1

Significantly, ablation and flash traps do not occur and, because heat generation is very local, even high-molecular polymers – for instance, cast PMMA – can be welded successfully. The weld shows no discernible heat-affected zone and no surface marking. It does not require a heat-absorbing interface and there is no particle generation, a factor which makes the Votan W development of special interest to suppliers of welded plastic parts in many diverse markets. In fact, Jenoptik is currently conducting preliminary trials on behalf of the medical and ink cartridge industries.

“Our target for this technology has always been to come up with a reliable, cost-effective, modular design which will support almost every required configuration,” says Bill Hogan, Jenoptik's UK Director. “Our extensive experience in designing systems for processing non-metals with laser has enabled us to develop Votan W.”

For further information, contact: Bill Hogan, Jenoptik (UK) Limited. Tel: +01462 650730; Fax: +01462 650731; Web site: www.jenoptik-uk.com