This technical information has been contributed by
Prima Power Laserdyne

A New Way to Provide End Point Control in Laser Welding

Standard laser welding practice often leaves a noticeable indentation at the end of the weld. With SmartRamp, laser parameters reportedly can be controlled in real-time to produce welds without any such defects, as shown in the photo.
Photo courtesy of Prima Power Laserdyne.

New capability is said to eliminate potential stress-risers and leak points in welds

CHAMPLIN, Minn.—Prima Power Laserdyne has developed a new capability, SmartRamp™, which reportedly provides consistent endpoint control during laser welding, eliminating areas where potential weld failure can occur. SmartRamp is the latest feature addition to the Laserdyne S94P control, which controls operation of the Laserdyne 795 and Laserdyne 430BD multi-axis laser systems.

SmartRamp produces uniform weld penetration along the entire length of the weld. With standard laser welding practice, the laser power is often ramped down at the end of the weld after the start point has been overlapped. This method leaves a noticeable depression at the end point and, in many applications, this depression is undesirable. In hermetic welds, for example, the depression at the end point can be a leak point.

Hermetically sealed electronic packages are widely used in the electronics, communications, automotive, computer, and medical industries. The quality and durability of the hermetic seal in these packages must be high, as failure of the seal can lead to corrosion of the package contents and premature failure of the device. The end point defect is also undesirable in welding applications in the aerospace industry. This defect can act as potential stress riser point, leading to reduced fatigue and creep strength of the welded component during its service. Conventional laser welding techniques for controlling the overlap, when used, will often require extensive testing to ensure that the conditions described above are not present.

By comparison, SmartRamp™ controls laser parameters in conjunction with motion of the beam, eliminating the occurrence of a visible endpoint of the weld. To validate SmartRamp’s effectiveness, Prima Power Laserdyne carried out extensive metallographic analysis of welds produced using SmartRamp. They are said to have consistently showed the absence of porosity or any other welding defects at the end of the weld. By comparison, metallographic tests carried out on standard welding samples confirmed that the end point can be the site of some porosity and inconsistent weld penetration.

SmartRamp, one of multiple ongoing advancements to Prima Power Laserdyne’s multi-axis fiber laser systems, gives product designers “confidence that new designs using the process are more robust with significantly less chance of failure,” according to the manufacturer. It has been developed by Prima Power Laserdyne engineers to be easily incorporated into a laser welding program. SmartRamp is a standard feature within the S94P control used on the Laserdyne 3-to-7 axes systems, which include the LASERDYNE 795 and Laserdyne 430BD laser systems. It will be a standard feature in upcoming versions of Laserdyne S94P software and available as a standard feature on new systems.

When released, the software will also be available without charge to existing customers. “One goal of Prima Power Laserdyne is to continue to produce advancements that help justify the use of laser processing,” said Terry L. VanderWert, president of Prima Power Laserdyne, in a press release. “Our company’s reputation is based on precision processing that is easily accomplished by system users around the world. This is why we will make new features available without charge to our customer base whenever possible.”

This technical information has been contributed by
Prima Power Laserdyne

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