Laser Photonics develops laser characteristics standards

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Laser Photonics Corp (LP) a manufacturer of industrial laser equipment, has developed a laser characteristics matching system that sets standards for measuring the performance of industrial laser materials processing equipment.

This industry first is designed to take the mystery out of choosing the right laser to achieve desired results in industrial materials processing.

Sandpaper and abrasives blasting media are graded by grit size, sheet metal is measure by gauge, desktop printers are categorized by DPI, and the printing industry uses LPI to determine the resolution of printed publications. Now that industrial lasers are increasingly replacing hazardous legacy materials surface preparation and industrial cleaning methods, the laser photonics industry as a whole has recognized the need for a grading standard to apply to lasers.

Without a standard, buyers have typically relied on the stated wattage of systems listed on manufacturers' product labels to a system's ability to achieve desired results. But since not all lasers are created equal, this can be a costly mistake. Systems billed as laser cleaning equipment are built with vastly different technologies and internal components, ranging from inefficient and shorter-lived decades-old resonator based lasers, to highly efficient state-of-the-art fiber lasers. Incorporated optics and software controllers also make a huge difference in the efficacy of a laser system. So, depending on which components are used in the construction of industrial laser equipment, one manufacturer's laser rated at a lower wattage may actually be more efficient and have a higher throughput-or strip rate-than a competitor's product rated at a 1000W.

So, to take the guesswork out of determining which laser system might right for a particular job, LP published an easily relatable comparison table that gives end-users from different industries a visual overlay of laser grades and the legacy industry standards that those end-users are accustomed to working with. The simple to use Laser Blaster™ Matching Chart grades lasers on a scale from 1 through 10, with 1 yielding the roughest finish, and 10 achieving the finest finishes. So by seeing where a particular grade of laser lines up with the correct gauge of steel, sandpaper grit, or CAMI rating for blasting media, one can immediately know which laser is right for the job.

Largely because of health, safety and environmental concerns, industry is under pressure to abandon legacy materials processing methods. Industrial laser systems have proven to be the clean, safe, and efficient alternative, but without clear guidance by way of a standard, adoption of the new technology has been hampered by need to take a slow and costly trial and error approach. In recognition that industry relies on standards to ensure consistency and repeatability, and in the absence any such standard for laser cleaning applications, LP took the initiative. By applying its industrial laser equipment manufacturing experience and expertise it delivered a simple, practical tool to aid anyone seeking to understand which laser to employ to achieve their desired materials processing results using laser.

The laser photonics industry has kicked this idea around for some time, but it was industrial laser pioneer LP that delivered a tool that industry can use today. That should come as no surprise. LP has developed the broadest range of industrial laser equipment available, including their CleanTech™ line, which runs the gamut from lasers that can delicately clean contaminants from sensitive materials with finesse, to the world's most powerful handheld Laser Blasting™ systems capable of vaporizing the rust from a battleship.

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