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New machine concept results in higher quality at lower cost

Scanlab is supplying the core component for Stoba’s new FocusONE laser machine for drilling in the micrometre range. 

The processing machine integrates Scanlab’s five-axis precSYS microprocessing system with a femtosecond laser and optical measurement for automatic correction of drilling results. As such, significant increases in productivity are attainable with 24/7 industrial use of the machine. 

For industrial production processes with extremely high accuracy requirements, labour costs for quality control are generally high too. If it is possible to reduce measuring procedures, defect parts and machine operating times for readjustment, significant cost savings can be made.

This was precisely the objective of the collaboration between the two companies: To ensure a stable laser machining process for micro-drilling, along with an automated final product inspection, which also automatically initiates adjustment of the process parameters if necessary. 

In Stoba’s new FocusONE laser machine, Scanlab's micro-drilling head is connected to an optical measuring system via EtherCAT. The Stoba measuring system can inspect drill holes starting from 25µm in diameter. The integrated software for machine control analyses the measuring results and automatically adapts the process parameters as required. If, for example, the drilling result shows a trend which indicates a reduction in the diameter of a few µm, the system automatically corrects the drilling diameter based on an individually set threshold. For reliable batch tracing, the entire production process is, of course, comprehensively monitored and recorded.

Greater productivity for large batch sizes

For the user, the machine concept means a higher throughput – thanks to saved set-up times – and more freedom in production planning whilst at the same time a reduced staff requirement. Since these laser machines have a major ‘autonomy’ with regard to type changes (different drilling patterns) and integrated measuring procedures, one specialist is sufficient for simultaneous operation of several machines.

The greatest benefits can be achieved in large-batch production of cost-intensive workpieces. What's more, traceability of parts produced can easily be ensured. The initial target markets are therefore medical technology, the automotive sector and aerospace industries.

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