IPG Photonics acquires Laser Depth Dynamics

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Fibre laser manufacturer IPG Photonics has acquired Laser Depth Dynamics (LDD), a Canadian provider of in-process quality monitoring and control solutions for laser-based welding applications. The move will help IPG encourage the adoption of automated laser-based welding across industries such as automotive, medical, consumer products and aerospace. LDD’s headquarters in Kingston, Ontario, will also become IPG’s new centre of product development for weld monitoring solutions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

LDD’s inline coherent imaging technology enables the real time, high precision, direct measurement of laser weld penetration depth by adding a near-infrared measurement beam to the welding head. The technology offers higher accuracy, speed, and cost-performance, compared to conventional indirect measurement techniques such as destructive sectioning.

The solutions provided by LDD also support advanced monitoring features including seam tracking, height following and 3D volume imaging in a single tool. LDD’s flagship imaging systems can be integrated with popular welding head technologies, including IPG’s wobble welding heads, which provide process consistency and ultra-high-power welding heads for deep penetration welding.

‘LDD’s weld monitoring systems and accessories significantly enhance IPG’s portfolio of industry-leading beam delivery products and laser welding solutions,’ said Felix Stukalin, IPG’s senior vice president of North American operations. ‘LDD’s ability to monitor weld quality in real time and ensure process consistency is increasingly important within automated production environments. We believe this technology, when combined with IPG’s expanding portfolio of welding solutions, will help drive adoption of laser-based welding within the automotive, medical, consumer products and aerospace industries.’

LDD has 16 employees and was founded in 2012 by Paul Webster, CTO, who initially developed ICI technology as a PhD candidate in engineering physics at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. While intending to expand the market for LDD’s products through its worldwide sales and support channels, IPG will continue to support and honour each of the firm’s existing customer commitments.

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