Laser Processes

As leading innovators in high-power optics, we push the development of efficient high-speed laser welding and provide commercial manufacturers with high-precision solutions for cladding, cutting, and coating removal.

In response to the rapid growth of laser technology and the high cost of equipment, EWI pushes the limits of laser hardware to find creative solutions to complex application challenges. Over the past 25 years, we’ve expanded our facilities and staff to address the evolution of the broad range of laser materials-processing and related optical technologies.

Laser

Hybrid Laser Arc Welding

Laser applications development requires input from many technical disciplines including laser physics, optical design, precision mechanical engineering, controls engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, and welding engineering. EWI’s cross-disciplinary, in-house teams provide the technical breadth clients need to consider their options. In addition, we also collaborate with outside resources to tackle larger, more complex applications. These collaborations often involve EWI member companies, bringing exceptional synergy to solution development.

As a result of our aggressive, creative, and collaborative approach to application challenges, EWI is a global leader in a number of areas including high-speed laser welding, laser process imaging, high-power laser-welding optics, additive manufacturing, and laser paint stripping.

EWI’s laser team includes nine associates with a combined 100 years of experience in laser applications. In addition to backgrounds in materials and welding engineering, our experts bring valuable “real-world” industrial experience to the mix. Team members also benefit from frequent and highly valuable customer interactions. The result is a team with in-depth experience in a wide array of laser applications including consumer electronics, jet aircraft, pacemakers, pipelines, automobile transmissions and nuclear storage containers.

Technical Expertise

  • Weld joint design
  • Beam quality analysis
  • Manufacturing cost estimation
  • Welding process tolerance analysis
  • Welding fixture design
  • Laser welding
  • Laser cutting
  • Laser cladding
  • Laser heat treating
  • Laser coating removal
  • Laser optics design
  • Process monitoring and Q/A
  • Laser additive manufacturing (powder & wire)

Equipment and Lab Resources

  • 20 kW, IPG, YLS-200000, fiber laser
  • 4.5 kW Laserline diode laser
  • 2 kW, single-mode, IPG fiber laser
  • 2 kW, JDSU, 50 um, fiber laser
  • 600 W, single-mode, IPG fiber laser
  • 200 W, pulsed, Nd-YAG, Trumpf PowerWeld
  • 150 W, Laserline diode laser
  • 150 W, pulsed, Miyachi Unitek, Nd-Yag laser
  • 100 W, JDSU, diode laser
  • 50 W, Q-switched, IPG fiber laser
  • 2 W, Miyachi Unitek, pulsed, doubled Nd-YAG, green laser

To put these lasers to work, we provide automation using the following:

  • Kuka and Fanuc robots
  • Traditional CNC motion systems (Aerotech)
  • High-speed CNC systems (EWI custom design with Aerotech linear motors)
  • Large gantry/robot system (Hawk and Fanuc)
  • Galvo scanners (Scanlab and Cambridge)

For over 25 years, EWI’s laser group has pushed the envelope of laser processing to empower our customers with cutting-edge solutions. Our high-impact projects have included:

  • Developing the first motion system capable of high-speed welding with high-power fiber lasers, providing a unique capability for welding thin materials used in fuel cells and batteries.
  • Designing high-power laser optics to overcome the limitations of previously misunderstood thermal instability problems, allowing the use of ever-increasing solid-state laser power to increase productivity on a variety of materials.
  • Using our high-power optics to make 12-foot long butt welds in an expensive 3/8-inch thick aerospace alloy, completing 11 defect-free welds using our patented technology.
  • Developing and patenting a high-power laser scanner for paint stripping applications and assembling an international team of industry collaborators to develop a large-scale, mobile laser-paint-stripping robot