Japan's First 20-kW Fiber Laser Welder Delivered
December 01, 2008
Sumitomo Heavy Industries Mechatronics, Ltd. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Jun Obokata, President & CEO; a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.) has delivered a fiber laser welder with output of 20 kW, the highest in Japan, to Sakurai Kogyo Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture; Toru Sakurai, President).
The fiber laser provides excellent linearity and beam condensation, enabling energy to be concentrated within a very small spot diameter. This enables welding of plate thicknesses up to 25 mm, which was previously not possible. In addition, the laser diode, the excitation light source, does not require replacement, allowing maintenance-free operation over long periods of time. The energy conversion efficiency (output relative to input power) is extremely high, approximately 10 times that of other laser oscillators, greatly contributing to energy conservation.
Applications include welding of metals such as iron, stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium, as well as bonding of work pieces consisting of combinations of such materials. The laser beam condensed to a high density fuses the joint locus locally and instantly, reducing the effects of heat on other portions and assuring strong welds with little distortion. The new unit's output of 20 kW is the highest in this product series and is suitable for a wide range of applications.
The recently delivered unit is mounted on an articulated robot suspended from an overhead gantry to allow maximum performance to be obtained from the laser. This configuration is capable of handling large and irregularly shaped work pieces. Sakurai Kogyo Co., Ltd. decided to upgrade its existing 10-kW fiber laser to the new 20-kW unit to meet strong demand from its customers for high-speed welding of thick plates.
In the future, Sumitomo Heavy Industries Mechatronics, Ltd. will continue to aim for enhanced quality and productivity while working to expand into the welding field through the development of advanced technology and products, with a focus on the electrical equipment, steel, and heavy industry fields.