Auto industry turns to laser welding for lightweighting

Lightweighting trends in automobiles is generating increased demand for laser welding systems according to one vendor of the technology. And whereas in the past Rofin (Munich, Germany) has primarily supplied diode lasers to end users through its group company DILAS, where they would subsequently be incorporated into a welding system by a system integrator or the end user, the company now reports that more customers are asking for complete laser polymer welding solutions.


The MPS Compact: an integrated system solution for laser polymer welding.

To address this market change, Rofin offers a solution based in its MPS laser workstation and DILAS Compact Evolution laser sources that comes with application-specific control software. The polymer welding system is either sold as a turnkey machine or as a functional kit consisting of laser, clamping unit and software for process control. Rofin adds that within less than a year, the new polymer welding solutions are already turning out to be a great success.

The systems are equipped with a special human machine interface for polymer welding and a work piece clamping unit working with either a pneumatic or a servo clamping drive, manufactured to the customer's specific requirements. The control software for the joining process has been specially developed for polymer welding applications. Data can also be logged for process statistics and quality management.

The polymer welding solution is based on Rofin's MPS, a production proven, multi-purpose laser workstation with a multitude of installations worldwide. It houses a DILAS Compact Evolution laser, operating with 980 nm or 880 nm wavelength and a continuous wave (CW) power of 150-500 W. Pyrometric process control allows for a constant welding temperature and hence optimized results according to Rofin.

With the recently extended MPS family, consisting now of the MPS Compact,  MPS Flexible, MPS Rotary and MPS Advanced, Rofin says it is "looking forward to creating truly outstanding solutions for challenging polymer laser welding applications in the near future."

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