II-VI and Coherent collaborate to develop turnkey automotive welding solutions

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II-VI's remote laser processing heads will be combined with Coherent’s fibre laser technology. (Image: IIVI)

Coherent and II–VI Incorporated are collaborating to develop optimised, integrated welding subsystems that will enable faster process development and streamlined production services for automotive laser welding.

These include high-strength alloy welding for automotive body-in-white applications and mass production copper welding for electrification applications

The collaboration – in the form of a supply agreement – will see II-VI's RLSK and HIGHmotion 2D remote laser processing heads combined with Coherent’s Adjustable Ring Mode (ARM) fibre laser technology.

The resultant welding subsystems will deliver power adjustment and beam positioning on the fly in order to produce optimal, high-quality welds at a very high speed and over large working areas – increasing efficiency while decreasing cost of ownership.

‘The Coherent ARM laser and the II-VI remote laser processing heads each utilise unique designs that are very effective in suppressing back reflections, thus enabling extremely high-quality welds in reflective materials such as aluminum and copper, which are nowadays widely used in automotive, including in e-mobility applications,’ said Dr Karlheinz Gulden, SVP of IIVI’s Laser Devices and Systems Business Unit. ‘This combination enables a constant laser power level of up to 8kW, which is beneficial for many copper and aluminum applications.’

Coherent will act as the single point of contact throughout the development and deployment of the Industry 4.0-ready subsystems. 

‘System builders will get the best of both companies' advanced technologies, with the logistical simplicity of a single source,’ said Jarno Kangastupa, managing director of Coherent’s High-Power Fiber Lasers Business Unit. ‘The advanced optics and smart software of II-VI's laser processing heads enable customers to fully leverage the Coherent ARM laser with unique ability to control, in real time, the laser beam shape and power distribution with great precision and over a wide dynamic range, delivering the state of the art in remote laser welding.’

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