Published on: April 2, 2014

With our purchase of the IPG Photonics’ YLS-4000 Continuous Wave Ytterbium fiber laser, we’re continuing to offer our customers cutting-edge technology and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, combined with the highest level of service. This combination of service and capabilities gives our engineers additional tools and methods to solve complicated material joining challenges.

The YLS-4000 fiber laser is an excellent addition to our family of welding lasers. Fiber laser welding is state-of-the-art technology at its best. The technology works by creating a high-powered laser beam from an array of relatively low power semiconductor diodes arranged such that the power of each diode can be combined and multiplied, resulting in a high power beam. The beam is then transported by optical fibers to the work piece. The technology offers enhanced laser capabilities because the laser can be focused to a small spot with extremely long focal lengths, ideal for welding or cutting. It’s touted as “new welding technology for the 21st century,” and rightly so.

We’re excited to be putting our new YLS-4000 fiber laser to good use for our customers. EBI currently offers electron beam (E.B.) welding, which provides a very powerful precise beam of energy for welding. However, E.B. welding requires the parts be enclosed in a vacuum chamber. This can limit the size of parts and also requires special tooling to move the parts in the vacuum. Since fiber lasers can weld in atmosphere, they provide, they a similar weld as EB but at a lower cost. Replacing TIG welding is another application where the YLS-4000 can excel. The laser can apply a significantly higher power density than TIG, allowing for a smaller heat affected zone and higher feed rates.

The YLS-4000 has applicability across most industries given its ability to join a wide array of different materials and joint configurations. Here are some industries where customers are experiencing cost savings and quality benefits:

  • Medical – Manufacturing of stainless steel surgical instruments or implantable devices;
  • Aerospace – Joining specialized alloys in flight critical parts;
  • Automotive – Welding aluminum subcomponents and automotive frames;
  • Electronic – Connecting multi cell battery packs and arrays;
  • Stamping – Sheet metal enclosures.