Ultrafast Lasers have been proven for several micro applications, e.g. stent cutting, for many years. Within its development of applications Jenoptik has started to use ultrafast lasers in macro applications in the automotive industry. The JenLas D2.fs-lasers with power output control via AOM is an ideal tool for closed loop controlled material processing. Jenoptik enhanced his well established sensor controlled laser weakening process for airbag covers to a new level. The patented process enables new materials using this kind of technology. One of the most sensitive cover materials is genuine leather. As a natural product it is extremely inhomogeneous and sensitive for any type of thermal load. The combination of femtosecond pulse ablation and closed loop control by multiple sensor array opens the door to a new quality level of defined weakening. Due to the fact, that the beam is directed by scanning equipment the process can be split in multiple cycles additionally reducing the local energy input. The development used the 5W model as well as the latest 10W release of JenLas D2.fs and achieved amazing processing speeds which directly fulfilled the requirements of the automotive industry. Having in mind that the average cycle time of automotive processes is about 60s, trials had been done of processing weakening lines in genuine leather of 1.2mm thickness. Parameters had been about 15 cycles with 300mm/s respectively resulting in an average speed of 20mm/s and a cycle time even below 60s. First samples had already given into functional and aging tests and passed successfully.
Modern laser technology is continuously opening up new fields of applications. Driven by the development of
increasingly efficient laser sources, the new technology is successfully entering classical applications such as 3D cutting
and welding of metals.
Especially in light weight applications in the automotive industry laser manufacturing is key. Only by this technology the
reduction of welding widths could be realised as well as the efficient machining of aluminium and the abrasion free
machining of hardened steel.
The paper compares the operation of different laser types in metal machining regarding wavelength, laser power, laser
brilliance, process speed and welding depth to give an estimation for best use of single mode or multi mode lasers in this
field of application.
The experimental results will be presented by samples of applied parts. In addition a correlation between the process and
the achieved mechanical properties will be made.
For this application JENOPTIK Automatisierungstechnik GmbH is using the BIM beam control system in its machines,
which is the first one to realize a fully integrated combination of beam control and robot. The wide performance and
wavelength range of the laser radiation which can be transmitted opens up diverse possibilities of application and makes
BIM a universal tool.