Even a few years back major manufacturers utilized standard CO2 lasers in factories for welding applications. Massive systems installed in separate rooms away from the actual production process supplied the energy for what, at the time, was relatively new laser welding technology. Developments since then have continued and modern systems increasingly use solid-state lasers, which deliver a range of major benefits.
Words by Markus Isgro
People who know all about this can be found in tranquil Heubach, the headquarters of EMAG Automation, a few kilometers from Schwäbisch Gmünd: they deal with laser technology every single day. "In 2008, we started to use solid-state lasers on our systems because the benefits they deliver compared to the established CO2 lasers are simply overwhelming," says Dr. Andreas Mootz, CEO of EMAG Automation GmbH. "We were definitely the pioneers who made solid lasers the tool of choice for welding precision parts such as gearbox components. The requirements on the system and process technology, in particular, and the requirements for clamping and equipment are much higher than with the CO2 laser."