Coherent offers a wide range of laser sources, laser-based sub-systems, and turnkey systems that service a variety of materials processing tasks for electronics, including cutting, welding, ablating, and marking. No matter what the specific application, Coherent is focused on delivering laser technology in a form which facilitates factory integration, in terms of hardware and software interface, to reduce production cost per part. This includes utilizing our extensive applications know-how to improve yields, and implementing intelligent process control for increased throughput. Yet, all this sophisticated functionality is packaged with easy-to-use software for simplified, intuitive operation, thus maximizing productivity.
Welding of both metals and plastics is utilized in the production of many electronic products. Although the specific applications for welding are diverse, common requirements are a small, cosmetically-attractive weld seam, and minimal heat affected zone (HAZ). Laser welding delivers both of these characteristics, especially when compared to traditional TIG welding. Also, the use of galvanometer mirror scanning heads makes the laser process quick and highly flexible.
Pressure sensors are often used in environments where they are subjected to high heat and pressure, so they may be thick-walled. Laser welding of these parts thus requires both precision and sufficiently high laser power to penetrate the thick materials. Coherent laser welding systems feature Inline process monitoring to automatically achieve optimum weld results and accommodate for part-to-part variations and tolerances.
For this application we recommend: StarFiber with SmartWeld+
Battery welding typically requires producing a hermetic seal in a thin layer of material, often copper or aluminum. Key requirements are low heat input into the part to avoid damaging or distorting the components, and high-speed/short-cycle time.
Battery Cell Connection
Individual battery cells are welded to electrically connect them. However, producing reliable welds in conductive and often dissimilar materials is very challenging for non-laser welding technologies. With lasers you can weld both conductive and dissimilar metals of almost any thickness with a high level of control and repeatability. Laser welding can rapidly produce several welds in close sequence enabling a larger total area of contact which reduces resistance, and also provides superior mechanical strength.
The fiber laser in combination with a 2D scanner is typically the best choice for this application. Output powers of up to 2 kW are commonly used.
For this application we recommend: HighLight FL-Series
The production of some mobile phones requires producing a water-resistant weld to attach the display window to the plastic housing. Diode laser-based welding enables particle-free, high throughput welding of small to medium-sized polymer parts. It combines a diode laser, servo-controlled clamping, and responsive software to deliver distortion-free weld quality and rapid cycle times. In addition to mobile phones, it is an ideal solution for polymer part joining in automotive displays, instrumentation, sensors and lights, medical equipment, housings and tube connectors, as well as consumer electronics and appliances.
For this application we recommend: ExactWeld 230 P
Laser cutting offers several advantages over traditional mechanical and other cutting methods, such as water jet, in the production of electronic parts. Specifically, the combination of a laser and galvanometer scanning head allows rapid cutting of complex contours, consistent results due to the lack of tool wear, the ability to cut multilayer and composite materials, and the capability for cutting thin substrates, such as foils. Coherent offers a wide range of different laser sources, and thus an efficient and cost effective solution for nearly every cutting task encountered in the electronics industry.
Mechanical cutting can’t produce the tightly radiused edges or notches often required on µSD cards. Abrasive water jet cutting suffers from process inconsistency because the cut width changes over time as the water jet nozzle wears. The 532 nm laser delivers the best combination of cutting speed, cut quality, and service characteristics for µSD card cutting, and is three times more cost effective than water jet cutting.
For this application we recommend: PowerLine E
Quick and precise cutting of glass reinforced, synthetic resin circuit boards can be a challenge for traditional cutting methods. But, cutting this, and other PCB materials can be effectively performed with a CO2 or UV laser.
Lasers excel at the type of precision cutting sometimes required for metal parts used within electronic products. In particular, they deliver a unique combination of mechanical precision, small heat affected zone, and high production throughput.
Marking in electronics production covers an extremely broad range of tasks, such as placing serial numbers, product identifiers, production traceability codes, logos, Datamatrix codes and other marks on materials including paper, metals, ceramics, semiconductor plastics and other insulators. Various laser types can produce durable, high contrast marks on all these materials with minimal heat affected zone. Furthermore, lasers support the production of small marks, such as 2D matrix codes covering an area of less than 1 mm x 1 mm, and can also mark on curved or other 3D surfaces.
Lasers can mark virtually any type of insulation, and can produce either dark or light markings as required, depending upon the color of the insulation. Furthermore, laser marking is a high-speed, flexible process which can be configured to simultaneously mark both sides of a wire, and also mark on-the-fly.
A common requirement in the production of PCBs is the marking of Datamatrix codes. This is accomplished by using the laser to induce a color change.
Lasers offer several critical advantages for ablation in electronics production. Key amongst these are the ability to precisely control the depth of material removal, together with a minimal heat affected zone. These allowing insulating or other layers to be removed without affecting the underlying conductor or substrate. Plus, laser ablation is fast, and can be performed on-the-fly, making it easy to integrate with other production processes.
Insulation stripping is typically performed using CO2 lasers because they can deliver both high quality and greater flexibility than mechanical techniques. Because the CO2 output is readily absorbed by virtually all insulation materials, but highly reflected by all conductors, the laser can easily cut through any insulation type without damage to the conductor, and this process is highly controllable and repeatable, even over a large range of laser powers. This enables the system to remove insulation from many types of wire and cable including single-core wire, twin leads, shielded twisted pairs, multiconductor cables, shielded and screened wire and cable, ribbon cable, coaxial cable, and complex 2D- and 3D-shaped conductors, such as coils.
Stripping of polymer, ceramic or other insulating layers from conductors prior to welding is a common task across many applications. Non-contact laser processing has proven particularly advantageous for stripping because it is fast, readily compatible with on-the-fly operation, and allows excellent control over material removal, producing no damage to the underlying conductor.