The next generation laser welding system Votan W, developed by German optoelectronics group Jenoptik, was demonstrated at Chinaplas 2014, the biggest plastics and rubber industry exhibition in Asia.
Votan W employs a newly-developed welding process that involves a laser line that can be switched on and off in sections. It uses diode lasers with a width of 10mm and an optical laser power of up to 100 watts per submount for the standard wavelengths of 808, 940 and 980 nanometers. The diode laser line comprises eight submounts in a compact housing and generates a line of about 100 mm in overall length.
Each of the submounts can be switched on and off, following the given contour—allowing the production of objects with practically any shape and form. The combination of several diode lasers into a single line is called a "diode nest" and is far more efficient than before. This helps produce various component sizes in a single passage up to an area of 1.5 meters x 0.6 meters.
The diode nest moves along a linear axis inside the laser machine, welding the components to each other without leaving any marks. This happens at a welding speed of up to 100 millimeters per second. Compared to alternative joining technologies, components joined by the Votan W have demonstrated 25% higher pulling forces of the weld in the boundary area and the cover, the company claims.
An increasingly recognized practice in the fields of plastics cutting, laser welding technologies are beginning to be more widely used in the automobile industry for the manufacture of vehicle interior equipment.