Breakthrough solutions in ultrafast laser equipment for decorative finishing in automotive chrome plated parts

Breakthrough solutions in ultrafast laser equipment for decorative finishing in automotive chrome plated parts

The goal of the DECOUL-Cr was to improve the quality of unique decorative chrome plated parts for the automotive industry using advanced laser technologies and design a complete solution to be integrated into factory line. There were two different business sectors involved in the experiments, 1) Special Automotive Parts decoration from End User side (Parts manufacturer) and 2) Development of advanced laser systems from Integrator side. Precision laser applications are very complex due to the number of variables that are involved, making critical to control them for real manufacturing lines. Significant thermal changes produced mainly in all industrial environments creates essential problems that need to be controlled and resolved at real time as internal misalignments between laser sources and processing heads, laser power losses, 3D errors due mechanical drifts, making necessary to find new solutions capable of minimising these effects. LASING designed a new concept of Analytical & Control tool named BGB (Beam Guide Box) that integrates all the optical and mechanical components that ensure an advanced and repeatable laser processing. The BGB can be installed in front of any laser, CW or pulsed with emission ranges from 1064 nm to 320 nm and technically provides the following specifications:

1) Continuous analysis of laser beam path obtaining beam pointing and beam profile data.

2) Automatic beam path correction using two sets of CCD´s sensor and Piezo mountings.

3) Motorized beam size expansion from 1x to 4x.

4) Automated energy control using polarisation optics.

5) Continuous energy and 2D beam analysis.

6) Fast and precise divergence adjustment to perform 3D or fast 2.5D processing.

7) Fast pulse counting electronics capable of detecting one pulse missing during the laser processing.

8) 2D Galvanometer head with F-theta or Telecentric lens.

A comprehensive assessment of picosecond equipment for decorative marking of chromed part for the automotive industry has been done. A laser parametric window using ps-laser sources emitting at 532 nm has been established in such a way that all the specifications needed for marking the targeted chromed parts have been fulfilled. 

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Demonstration level: Level 5 - Components validated in relevant environment