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22 October 2014

JDSU and Amada launch 2kW direct diode laser for sheet metal cutting

JDSU of Milpitas, CA, USA has collaborated with UK-based Amada (a manufacturer of machine tools for metal fabrication) to develop a new direct diode laser (DDL) that provides up to 2kW of output power. The DDL has been integrated into a new sheet metal cutting system from Amada called ExC, demonstrated in stand D06/F06, Hall 12, at the 23rd International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition (EuroBLECH) in Hanover Germany (21-25 October).

Direct diode lasers have predominately been used for welding or treating the surface of metals during manufacturing processes. The DDL design created by JDSU and Amada is claimed to be one of the first solutions that leverages this technology to cut metal.

Direct diode lasers are gaining momentum over CO2-based cutting systems for metal processing because of advantages they provide that include higher cutting speeds, improved cutting quality, increased energy efficiency, and lower maintenance requirements. Such benefits in turn result in lower overall costs for metal processing manufacturers.

As one of the solutions to replace traditional CO2 lasers for metal processing, the market for direct diode lasers is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3% over 2012-2017, to $237m, according to industry analyst firm Strategies Unlimited.

“For more than seven years, JDSU and Amada have collaborated on the industry’s most innovative laser solutions,” says Alan Lowe, president of Communications and Commercial Optical Products (CCOP) at JDSU. “The new ExC platform complements the fiber-laser engine portfolio we’ve developed with Amada to provide manufacturers with a diverse range of solutions that meet their various metal processing needs.”

Benefits of the new system are said to include:

  • Increased energy efficiency. The new DDL engine significantly increases the efficiency (percentage of electrical power converted into usable light) during the metal cutting process.
  • Faster cutting capability & improved cutting quality. ExC cuts mild steel sheets 30% faster and cuts aluminum sheets 75% faster compared to traditional CO2 systems, Amada reckons. It also improves smoothness of the cut surface by an order of magnitude.
  • Compact size and reduced costs. Maintenance and power costs are reduced due to the DDL’s compact and integrated structure and ability to use less power. According to Amada, this translates into a reduction in power costs of about 50% during sheet metal processing.

Tags: JDSU Laser diodes

Visit: www.jdsu.com

Visit: www.amada.co.uk

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