Expands Processing Capability
Laser cutting, engraving, and marking systems are extraordinarily versatile instruments. A single ULS system can cut, mark, and engrave hundreds of thousands of materials. However, there are many instances in which optimal material processing is achieved only with appropriately-selected laser sources. Three major considerations drive selection of a laser source for a particular application: Rate of Energy Delivery, Rated Power and Laser Wavelength. Each of these considerations is leveraged by Rapid Reconfiguration technology.
Rate of Energy Delivery
As CO2 laser sources are turned on and off, they generate pulses of laser energy. Within each pulse is a specific amount of energy that is equal to the area underneath the power curve. High- and low-power lasers are capable of delivering pulses with a specified amount of energy but do so at their rated power. High-power lasers can dispense large amounts of energy very quickly. During this short time, the intense energy of the laser causes materials to ablate or vaporize. This is perfect for some material processes. In other cases, however, ideal results can be obtained from a slower trickle of energy created by a low-power laser source.
A common misconception in laser processing is that high-power lasers are only useful for increasing processing speed in cutting applications. Although throughput is a major factor when selecting a laser source, there are several other points to consider.
Enhances Flexibility and Productivity
With Rapid Reconfiguration, a growing business has the built-in capability to reconfigure its solution for optimal efficiency and system utilization. On the manufacturing floor, Rapid Reconfiguration enables flexible, scalable solutions by switching out laser sources, optics, and accessories to satisfy changing customer demand. Benefits include, tool-less prototype development, fast and accurate job estimation and seamless re-allocation of laser systems based on production demand.
In multiple laser system configurations, users can match system size and laser power to particular processes, such as laser cutting, engraving, or marking. For example, an ILS12.150D is a large system which may be required for marking large panels. In this instance, a low-power laser with a larger field size is all that is required, meaning that the high-power lasers can be paired with smaller-sized laser systems to process more power-intensive but smaller parts. This maximizes Return On Investment (ROI) by ensuring that the most efficient combination of lasers and systems is always in use.
Protects and Optimizes Investment
With other laser systems, each new laser system purchase diminishes the benefit of the laser sources that the customer already owns, because the original laser sources cannot easily be reinstalled onto their new system. However, this is not true with Rapid Reconfiguration. A vast majority of laser sources purchased from ULS in the past maintain compatibility with ULS systems, meaning that a past investment in laser sources impacts the future by providing both long-term laser compatibility and virtually limitless possibilities for future system configurations.
Rapid Reconfiguration also affords customers a high level of flexibility with their investment. For example, a customer can choose to purchase lasers of the same wattage, or instead decide on mixed wattages, depending on the needs of their specific applications. With Rapid Reconfiguration, they can choose the less costly option now, with full knowledge that a future upgrade is extremely easy and that the upgrade will not only provide a throughput advantage, but will also yield all of the processing advantages associated with having two laser sources.
Requires Minimal Downtime for Service and Repair
In the unlikely event that a laser source requires service before scheduled maintenance can be performed, ULS can ship refurbished lasers overnight to many locations around the world. Once the new laser source arrives, it takes only minutes to install.
Safety and Ease of Use
Conversely, Rapid Reconfiguration requires no tooling or specialized training. ULS pre-aligns all laser sources to a common reference standard at the factory, dramatically simplifying the installation process. Typically, it takes about one minute to reconfigure a ULS system. The laser system then internally communicates which laser is installed and adjusts for any processing changes automatically. If a user is cutting 3/8” plastic with a 40 watt laser, but then adds a 75 watt laser to increase productivity, the ULS software computes the required processing settings to accommodate the additional laser source. This means that the user does not need to spend time re-establishing parameters on the system each time a laser is interchanged – it all just works.
Enables other Unique Universal Features
Provides Superior Return on Investment (ROI)