In occasion of Fakuma, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG presented a wide range of products from its laser plastic welding portfolio. Among them the LPKF InlineWeld systems and the robot-assisted LPKF TwinWeld3D hybrid welding system, ...
by Laura Alberelli
LPKF Laser & Electronics AG manufactures machines and laser systems used in electronics fabrication, medical technology, the automotive sector, and the production of solar cells. LPKF’s products are distributed in Italy from two dealers: Nitz engineering (with its headquarter in Bressanone) and Atg Italy (Senago, Milan). In occasion of Fakuma, the company presented a wide range of products from its laser plastic welding portfolio. Among them the LPKF InlineWeld systems, characterised by space-saving and flexibility. Laser sources and the controls are housed in a separate module, and the compact welding head can therefore be integrated perfectly into the client’s own production line. The stand-alone units in the LPKF PowerWeld product line are multitalented systems for every production situation. Depending on the model, they are designed for small, medium or large series production operations. During the exhibition, the company showed also PowerWeld 2000 for manual individual loading and the PowerWeld 2600 with a rotary table.
Welding large, 3D free-form components in a thermal field
Moreover during Fakuma LPKF presented the robot-assisted LPKF TwinWeld3D hybrid welding system, designed for welding large, 3D free-form components in a thermal field. It is ideal for high quality and economical welds in visually exposed products zones, e.g. automobile taillights. Pairs of taillights can be welded in one process using the optional rotary table. The LPKF PrecisionWeld further expands the areas of application for laser plastic welding: this innovative system enables the safe and economical joining of ultrafine microfluidic components. The new “ClearJoining” laser process enables the welding of transparent plastics without the use of any additives.
New Thick-film Process for 3D Molded Interconnect Devices
More than half of all smartphones today contain at least one 3D LDS part. Together with Plasma Innovations, LPKF is developing a new technology to supplement this application area. Laser Plasma Patterning (LPP) is the name of the process that LPKF Laser & Electronics will take to the series production stage as a turnkey solution. At the Fakuma trade show, LPKF and Plasma Innovations presented preliminary results together with PolyOne on its booth. After the painting step has been completed, proven 3D laser systems in the Fusion line perform the selective coating removal. In the next step, the know-how of Plasma Innovations comes into play: Plasma metallization results in coating of the areas exposed by the laser with a metal. Different metals can be applied with precisely defined coating thicknesses. A typical application in the electronics industry is a copper layer of 35 to 70 microns, followed by a thin noble metal coating to provide reliable protection against corrosion. LPKF is developing the process to the series production stage and is planning on shipping a turnkey solution, with the input as a 3D body and output as the structured part holding the complete conductive network.