The SmartTechniques have been driven by the market. Our Engineering and Applications team have a culture of accepting laser processing challenges and provide creative solutions to help our customers improve their laser processes while maintaining the precision expected for laser welding, drilling, and cutting applications. The feedback from customers using these SmartTechniques has been very positive and they find them to be beneficial. Some of the more common SmartTechniques are described below.
SmartRamp™ is a technique which provides precise laser processing control and eliminates the start and end-of-weld defects, e.g. the depression at the end of the weld. This depression is potential stress point concentrator, potential area for future cracks, and cosmetically unappealing. Photo 1 below shows the difference between a weld without and with SmartRamp™. SmartRamp provides consistent start to the weld and eliminates the depression at the end of weld. This eliminates potential weld quality inspections and secondary processes associated with the end-of-weld depression. It also enables laser processing to be used in applications where an underfilled or undercut welds are not acceptable.
Photo 1. – Welding without and with SmartRamp™.
Operational and product benefits of using SmartRamp for welding processes are:
- Supports welding applications where the undercut/underfill are not acceptable.
- Improved weld quality.
- Minimize post processing, rework, and additional weld inspections due to the endpoint appearance.
- Eliminates the typical issues associated the start and end of a weld, which reduces stress and fatigue cracks.
- Improves the aesthetics of the welds.
SmartSense™ is a precision optical find and measurement utility using the OFC2 ABSOLUTE™ hardware (Note: OFC2 ABSOLUTE hardware must be included in the Prima Power Laserdyne system to use the SmartSense™ techniques.). It is typically used to find reference locations such as edges, holes, corners, or surfaces. It is a fully integrated hardware and software solution using of various G-code utilities. For example, using OFC2 ABSOLUTE, the part surface can be mapped without physically touching the surface of the part to get a precise surface profile along the line (or points) of measurement. The surface mapping can be incorporated with the motion control system to compensate for part or fixture variations. SmartSense enables high speed moves and laser processing with accuracy and consistency.
The processing benefits of using SmartSense™ are:
- Faster, more accurate, and simpler measurement methodology than other manual or semi-automated measurement techniques.
- The various SmartSense functions ensure the laser processed features are more accurately added to the workpiece.
- Improves the quality and capability for welding, drilling, and cutting by ensuring the laser beam is optimally focused on the workpiece.
- SmartSense can help compensate for part variations and deficiencies. I.e. SmartSense can be used to location welds, holes, or cut features relative to an edge or surface.
SmartComp™ is a macro within the S94P software which corrects for misalignments of the part in a rotary fixture or a fixture on a rotary table. With SmartComp™, the motion control system will adjust to rotational axis and plane of the part or fixture depending on which has been defined as the reference datum. An important note: when using SmartComp, it is important to know the reference datums for the critical dimensions and how part placement in the fixture affects the dimensions and quality of the part.
The operational and product benefits of SmartComp are:
- Shorter setup times by having the software and hardware adjust the motion control system to the part within the rotary table
- Corrections for improper fixture placement on the rotary table when the fixture is the reference datum.
- Improved dimensional control and feature placement (welds, drilled holes, and cut features), improved part quality, and less waste due to part or fixture misalignments to the rotary table.
SmartPierce™ is a set laser parameters used piercing through the material with minimal piercing diameter and debris blown on the part during the piercing process. SmartPierce™ creates a very clean pierced hole at the beginning of a cut or drilled hole. This enables the piercing to be placed closer to the cut or edge of the trepanned hole, reducing the laser beam’s travel path which leads to shorter cycle time per cut or hole. The clean pierce leads to the cleaner cut while improving the dimensional control and quality. Additionally, because the debris from the piercing process is “managed” and the cut is cleaner, the secondary cleaning processes are reduced or possibly eliminated.
The operational and product benefits of SmartPierce™ are:
- Shorter time to pierce the starting hole through the material. By reducing the time to complete the pierce, the cycle time per cut or per drilled hole is shortened.
- Minimizes the diameter of the pierce point and enables the pierce to be very close or on the cut edge for some materials. By reducing the distance of move from the pierce point to the cut profile, the total cutting path length is reduced. The reduced cutting path leads to a shorter cycle time.
- Minimizing the debris created during piercing can reduce or eliminate the need for secondary cleaning operations (e.g. deburring or removing debris from piercing) leading to a lower total cost of the part.
SmartPerf™ is used for on-the-fly drilling of linear and cylindrical hole patterns. It is a group of macros used to shorten the programing time and cycle times for repeated features in the workpiece. The laser processing parameters can be adjusted between different stages within the repeated patterns. The more common macros are LinPerf™ and CylPerf™. On-the-fly drilling is very useful in circular parts, spinnerets, separators/filters, and noise attenuators.
The Linear Perforation feature (LinPerf™) provides an easy way to create rows of holes, each row consisting of a pattern of holes produced either by defining a pattern consisting of one or more groups of N holes and M spaces or macro programming blocks that create a complex row of features on a flat surface. There is an advanced option which gives the user the ability to specify any desired subroutine or pattern macro in lieu of the basic round hole
The Cylinder Perforation feature (CylPerf™) provides an easy way to program and visualize macro programming blocks that create complex rows of features on a cylindrical part. In its simplest format, CylPerf™ creates rows of holes, each row consisting of a pattern of holes. The user can define a pattern consisting of one or more groups of N holes and M spaces. The user can also specify any desired subroutine/pattern macro in lieu of the basic round hole or start-stop-restart the program at any desired hole, by specifying row and hole number, and then either process N holes or process the remainder of the part.
LinPerf™ and CylPerf™ can be combined with SmartPierce™ on any of the hole patterns. This become particularly important when drilling small holes (as shown Photo 6) in close proximity to minimize heat buildup, distortion, and minimize the debris in adjacent holes or on the part surface.
Operational and product benefits of SmartPerf:
- Higher quality holes, both in terms of metallurgy and geometry, with on-the-fly drilling.
- Reduced cycle time from on-the-fly drilling by eliminating acceleration and deceleration at each hole location.
- On-the-fly drilling reduces the heat input into the part, which helps reduce delamination of the thermal barrier and other coatings on metal components.
- Can be combined with SmartPierce™ for increased hole drilling effectiveness in difficult applications with tight hole patterns – less debris, less heating, less distortion.
If you would like more information on how SmartTechniques™ can help your laser processing, email us at email@example.com.