ULS Innovations

HPDFO™ (High Power Density Focusing Optics)

ULS offers customers the ability to drastically improve resolution in laser marking and laser engraving applications, to directly mark onto some metals, and to increase the range of materials which can be cut with a CO2 laser system. This is accomplished through ULS patented HPDFO (High Power Density Focusing Optics) that focuses the laser’s energy into a much smaller area than is possible with standard lenses. This has applicability across many industries and gives several benefits to the customer:

  • Dramatically Increased Resolution
    Unusually small features can be laser cut, engraved, or marked on a vast number of materials.
  • Higher Power Density
    Allows the system to process materials which are typically only possible with much higher laser power.
  • Configuration Flexibility
    ULS systems can be quickly reconfigured to use HPDFO or the standard combination of lenses to enable both high resolution and high throughput.
  • Reduced Materials Cost
    The HPDFO enables ULS systems to use smaller optical elements which reduces initial and maintenance costs.

Increased Resolution

The smaller focal spot size produced by HPDFO results in smaller marks and cut widths on many materials.This allows the user to produce drastically higher resolutions and to achieve significantly tighter tolerances.

Raster marking applications also benefit from the small spot size of HPDFO. The graphical information contained in each raster line has less overlap and results in a higher effective resolution. This is particularly useful when creating highly-detailed graphics or markings which must be legible under magnification.

Higher Power Density

The smaller focal spot size produced by HPDFO concentrates all of the laser energy into a smaller diameter, dramatically increasing the power density at focus. This allows systems to mark directly onto materials such as steel and titanium. Without HPDFO direct marking would require specialty marking compounds, substantially more laser power, or lasers of a different wavelength, such as fiber lasers, which are typically much more expensive than their CO2 counterpart. By way of example, a 150 watt laser configuration using HPDFO would have the equivalent power density of a system using over 1,000 watts. With this patented option, the utility of CO2 laser systems is dramatically expanded, enabling a CO2 only system to effectively process many more materials than it would otherwise be capable of processing.

Configuration Flexibility

The focus spot size determines the resolution that can be obtained in laser cutting, engraving, and marking. HPDFO has a substantially smaller diameter than the standard complement of 2.0”, 3.0”, and 4.0” lenses allowing it to achieve the highest resolution processes. However, the standard lenses have their own purpose.

The longer focal length lenses produce a focused laser spot that has a larger diameter. This is useful in laser marking applications where high throughput and bulk material removal is more important than high resolution. The longer focal lengths are also more forgiving to variations in the flatness of materials since the focal range is much longer. This is useful when materials are not naturally flat, or when they become distorted due to laser induced heating. Lastly, the longer focal length lenses can create a more uniform kerf width when laser cutting through thicker materials.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

The HPDFO lens kit enables all of the above advantages while being comprised of small optical components. This offers several advantages. Smaller optics reduce both the cost of the laser system along with any associated maintenance costs. The size is also advantageous in that it reduces the mass and weight of the carriage, allowing for faster acceleration and deceleration along with more controlled movement around corners – further increasing the processing quality. Last, the compact optical arrangement reduces the risk of contamination on the surfaces of mirrors and lenses within the system and increases the effectiveness of other Unique Universal technologies such as Optics Protection.