How to Choose The Right Laser Welding Machine

In this competitive manufacturing world, making the right decision is challenging. Especially when we consider choosing mechanical, electrical, and automated machines. We know that a wise decision is always necessary for success. Therefore, we must carefully evaluate a laser welding machine’s parameters before purchasing it. And that is what we are going to talk about today.

Why Choose a Laser Welding Machine?

We all know that laser devices are incredibly faster than mechanical ones. It uses a high-power laser beam to mark, etch, cut, engrave, or weld any metals. Since it uses laser beams as the medium, they are fast, efficient, and productive. So why not a welding laser machine? Although it has an initial upfront cost, yet you can get efficient results for the long-term application. It reduces the overall cost of your production.

There are other reasons why you should choose a laser welding machine. You know it is a non-contact process. Therefore, the laser welding process is safe. If you choose automatic laser welding machines, they are even safer. Because of these benefits, laser welder machines are prevalent across diverse industries.

How To Choose the Right Laser Welding Machine?

In the following, we have highlighted five important sections that describe how to choose a suitable device. We hope these sections help you find the right equipment for your job.

Pulsed Or Continuous Laser?

We must choose the right type when choosing a suitable laser weld machine. Continuous waves and pulsed waves are two general forms of various laser types. The following table shows that a constant wave is often found in fiber laser welders. Conversely, pulsed waves are often seen in Nd: YAG lasers.

Now, when choosing between them, first evaluate your application requirements. Check for more material thickness, desired weld penetration, and the need for minimal thermal impact. Selecting the suitable laser welding machine for your application requires these factors.

Continuous wave (CW) Laser weldersPulsed Wave (PW) Laser welders
Constant & uninterrupted laser weldingInterrupted at a certain width & frequency
Usually found in Fiber & CO2 laser devicesUsually found it Nd: YAG laser devices
Suitable for deep penetration laser welding; over 1.5mm is possibleParticularly well-suited for materials with thin walls and equipment that is sensitive to heat
Ideal for the welding of materials that are prone to cracking, such as high-carbon stainless steelSuitable for reflective metals
Consumes higher power energyConsumes lower power energy
Lower precision & controlEnhanced precision and control
Creates more heat-affected zones than PW laser weldersCreates less heat-affected zone than CW laser welders

Fiber Laser Vs. CO2 Laser Vs. Nd: YAG Laser

Fiber Laser Vs. CO2 Laser Vs. Nd: YAG Laser

Laser welding needs a laser with high energy density, precise focusing, and suitable wavelengths. They are necessary for optimal material absorption & penetration. As we can see, three types of lasers are popular for laser welding. Concerning suitability, we can compare them with a few factors.

The fiber laser produces sharp and thin beams. Therefore, it provides continuous and penetrative operations for general welding applications. A similar nature can be observed in CO2 laser welders as well. What sets them apart is the efficiency. Fiber lasers offer a maximum efficiency of 30%. On the other hand, a CO2 laser provides a maximum efficiency of 10%.

Although, Nd: YAG is less common in laser welding. Yet we can find its applications in the automotive industry’s blank welding of aluminum alloys. For general-purpose applications, a fiber laser welder is seen more often.

CriteriaFiber Laser Welding MachineCO2 Laser Welding MachineNd: YAG Laser Welding Machine
TechnologySharp & thin beams allow penetrative jobUsing gas mixture to ensure continuous jobEffective power control, duration, and shape
Material thicknessCan penetrate thick sheets with great speedCan penetrate thick sheets with great speedOptimized for pulsed mode
Power ConsumptionGoodPoorGeneral
Beam QualityExcellentGoodGeneral
Average Efficiency25% to 30%7% to 10%3 to 4%
Lifespan100,000 hours20,000 hours3,000 hours
Initial CostExpensiveCheaperRelatively Expensive

 

Manual Vs. Semi Automatic Vs. Automatic Laser Welding: Which Is Better?

Laser Welding Machine

Another criterion we must focus on when selecting a suitable welding laser machine is the nature of the operation. Is it manual, semi-automatic, or automatic? Which method suits your applications? Each has unique advantages and limitations. For example, a manual laser welder or hand laser welding machine can work with all general-purpose works. On the other hand, automatic laser welding allows you to do batch production.

Therefore, choosing the suitable laser welder machine (manual or automatic) depends on you. It depends on the application’s requirements, production volume, and precision level.

CriteriaManualSemi-automaticAutomatic
PrecisionModerate to high based on the skills of the operatorHighVery high
SpeedMediumFastVery Fast
Skill LevelHighModerateLow to moderate
ConsistencyDepends on operator’s skillsImproved consistencyHigh consistency
ProgrammingNo needPre-programmed sequencesAutomated programming
FlexibilityLimited flexibilityImproved flexibilityHigh flexibility
CostLow upfront costModerate upfront costHigh upfront cost

Parameters To Be Checked: Control & Adjustment Features And Monitoring

Once you have considered the type of lasers, it is time to check for other device parameters. Control & adjustment features and monitoring are two primary areas you must focus on. These two features play the most crucial role in effectively using laser weld machines. Well, control & adjustment allow you to fine-tune a laser welder machine according to the project requirements. The following four specifications that you must check in control & adjustment features are:

  1. Power settings determine how your device can handle various materials and thicknesses. Fine-tuning power levels ensures optimal welding performance.
  2. Pulse Frequency & duration determine how your device manages heat input and avoids distortion. It is essential to know when working with delicate or heat-sensitive materials.
  3. Beam focus & spot size determine how accurately your laser welder can perform.
  4. Welding speed, you know, determines the productivity of your laser welding machine.

On the other hand, monitoring capabilities also contribute to precision & quality during welding. This feature involves measuring temperature, energy input, and weld penetration depth. These monitoring features enable you to discover and handle possible problems quickly. These features can minimize the risk of defects. Overall, they can enhance the overall quality of the weld.

Where Do You Plan to Put the Laser Welder to Use?

After considering all the parameters, here we are at the final stage. You know, the application determines the correct type of laser welding machine. This step requires careful evaluation of the specific needs of the intended application. This evaluation can help you make the right choice and ensure optimal performance.

Handheld Laser Welding Machines

These are general-purpose welding laser machines. Handheld laser welding machines are ideal for applications that require remote applications. It means mobile applications like in workshops, construction, and repair. In Hanten CNC, you can get a variety of handheld laser welding machines.

Jewelry Laser Welder

Undoubtedly, these devices require precision. They are not the ones that deal with thick materials. Jewelry laser welders are specifically designed to handle intricate Jewelry applications. What you should focus on in these laser welders is their monitoring features.

Electronics Laser Welder

Here is another heat-sensitive application. It also requires precision laser weld machines. What matters in these places are HAZ (heat-affected zone), pulse control, and energy management. Moreover, it would help if you also focused on the machine’s ability to weld small, sensitive components.

Laser Welding in The Automotive Industry

This industry deals with high-strength materials and intricate structural components. Therefore, you need a laser welder capable of dealing with such applications. In this case, consider the machine’s power output and beam quality. And most importantly, check the device’s capability to ensure solid & durable welds.

How Much Does A Laser Welder Cost?

The cost of a laser weld machine depends on machine type, power, brand, and additional features. Budget-friendly considerations vary across industries. For example, applications requiring precision, like in aerospace, demand more advanced models. On the other hand, smaller-scale applications might opt for cost-effective alternatives. Check out the following table for more ideas about a laser welder price.

Conclusion

Based on the preceding explanation, we can now make informed decisions when selecting a welding laser machine. We can determine what parameters we need to concentrate on. If you have any queries about how to choose an appropriate laser welder, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We offer an extensive collection of different kinds of laser welding machines. These machines are ideal for a variety of applications. As a result, you will have a wide range of options for your particular application.