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It is hard to argue with the observation that micromachining is fast becoming an integral and valuable tool for a good number of industries.

shutterstock_351868748If you already have a laser drill sourced from Laser Light, you will no doubt be aware of just how versatile laser drilling can be. If you are not yet completely familiar with what micromachining that uses laser technology, has to offer, here is a look at how the drill has come of age.

Meeting new challenges

Technology is changing many things and one area where that impact is clearly visible, is the fact that many components are simply shrinking in size, in particular when you look at the sort of components that are now routinely manufactured in the automotive, electronics and medical industries.

Shrinking component sizes sets new demands for micromachining technology, which is why advanced laser markers, which offer superior beam quality, are rapidly overtaking and replacing traditional machining technologies.

When you consider that this fiber market technology can actually work out to be as much as three times less expensive than its predecessors, you soon begin to understand why this technology is making such rapid gains within a number of industries.

They meet new challenges set and cost less, so what’s not to like?

Ideal EDM replacement

If you are thinking about how to replace or update your electric discharge machining (EDM) equipment, a single-mode fiber laser marker offers a very viable solution.

It is quite clear that a good percentage of high-volume manufacturers are being set new miniaturization challenges and a single-mode fiber laser marker is likely to provide a cost-effective solution in a number of different situations.

Whether you are working with aluminium, copper, nickel, silicon, steel or titanium for example, it is likely that a fiber laser marker, offering superior beam quality and often costing less than other options, is more than capable of replacing your traditional micromachining equipment.

Working successfully at small scale

There is no question that in order to work successfully at such a small scale, it requires a combination of operator skill and the right tools for the job in hand.

You need to be able to have the right level of knowledge to be able to utilize the tools at your disposal to their fullest extent and enable you to achieve the results you are looking for. This is another plus point for the fiber laser marker, as the recent technological developments with regard to using a marker for micromachining, has meant that it is now perfectly feasible to create additional features that were not previously attributed to this type of equipment.

The relevance of the exceptional beam quality that is now attainable, is that this tool is capable of producing a focused optical spot down to a size where it is deemed almost perfectly suited for cutting and scribing a variety of different materials.

Added to the equation, is the use of selectable pulse-width waveforms, allowing these different pulse widths and peak power characteristics to offer tuning of the removal rate and enhance the quality of the feature surface at the same time.

Micromachining options

Although there are some compelling reasons why you may want to consider using single-mode fiber laser markers as a viable alternative to some more pricey micromachining technologies around, you will probably want to do the math, including looking at ROI, before making your mind up.

To give you some indication of the capabilities and cost savings that could be achieved against an EDM machine for example, it is worth making a direct comparison using a typical job in order to see how they fare up against each other.

If you were trying to drill a hole through thick steel with no post processing, using a fiber marker to complete this task should take less than half the time required to do the same job using EDM equipment.

Another significant factor to consider is that the laser marker offers the option of completing multiple parts in a single operation, which exposes the current limitations of a sinker machine (EDM).

In order to match the potential capabilities of a fiber laser, you would have to make an additional investment in motion equipment. Taking this into consideration and weighing up the versatility offered by the new technology, there is a clear ROI advantage being offered by the fiber laser marker option.

If you are looking for a cost-effective micromachining option that is able to cope with the changing demands of your industry, the single-mode fiber laser marker is a good example of how you can meet those challenges.

Jude Miles works as a laser technician and enjoys sharing her knowledge in her online articles as it’s not a subject she can easily discuss with friends of family!! She writes for business blogs as well as industry specific sites.