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Why are more manufacturers switching to welding with fiber lasers from traditional welding techniques?

Staying competitive today requires cost reductions, efficiency gains and repeatable part quality that cannot be met by traditional techniques that rely on increasingly scarce, highly-skilled craftsmen. Enabled by unprecedented no-maintenance, high-reliability and low-cost, fiber laser welding systems have become the preferred welding solution for the manufacturing industry.

Why choose a laser welding machine?

Laser welding machines have several advantages:

They are very fast:

  • The laser allows the metal to be heated extremely quickly, while limiting the risk of deformation.
  • This technology is particularly effective for welding large quantities of sheet metal and is therefore widely used in the automotive industry.

They are also highly accurate:

  • They allow a localized, very fine, very clean, almost invisible welding.
  • They are particularly suitable for welding small parts.
  • This type of welding is very popular in the dental and jewellery industries as it provides the most aesthetic welding possible.
  • It is also possible to split the laser beam into several beams to provide welding that is even more accurate.

They can be adapted to a wide variety of part shapes and materials:

  • Laser welding machines are mainly used to weld metals, including refractory metals.
  • It is also possible to weld non-metallic parts with them, such as porcelain and glass.
  • You can use them to weld parts with very different shapes.

They do not wear out:

  • Laser welding machines operate without contact, so there is no risk of wear and tear on the machine.
  • There is also no need to change tools or electrodes, which is a definite advantage in terms of waste reduction.

They can be given orders digitally:

  • It is now possible to control the quality of the welding from a computer during the welding process.
  • The high level of automation allowed by such a process also makes it possible to detect and solve any quality problems.

They are VERY affordable

  • Fiber laser welding is now with our Lasermach WOBBLE Handheld fiber laser welding machine VERY affordable and accesable for every company

This is why all manufactureres switch to fiber laser Welding

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

GMAW or MIG is a traditional technique using a consumable electrode that works well for larger, badly fitting parts.
  • Fiber laser welding does not use consumable electrodes, requires less edge preparation, is easily automated and is up to 5x faster.
  • Fiber lasers also provide more precision, and lower heat input. 

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

GTAW or TIG uses a non-consumable electrode and provides better process control than GMAW but any filler has to be added separately.
  • Fiber lasers are up to 10x faster with higher precision, lower heat input, and are more easily automated.

Plasma Arc Welding (PAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

PAW is faster than GTAW, but much slower than laser welding. Having a large melt pool, PAW is good for badly aligned parts, but creates too much heat for many applications.
  • Fiber lasers offer higher precision, are faster, and have lower heat input in a non-contact process.
  • Laser Wobble Welding is as effective on misaligned parts and does not require daily maintenance of the process head.

Resistance Spot Welding (RSW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

RSW is typically used for joining two pieces of material that are stacked on top of each other.
  • Fiber lasers only need single-side access, are much faster, and produce higher-strength welds.
  • Fiber lasers do not require electrodes and eliminate the costs and time for electrode replacement.

Electron Beam Welding (EB) vs Fiber Laser Welding

EB welding provides excellent weld quality and a low heat affected zone. Because the process is in a vacuum chamber, contaminant levels are very low.
  • Fiber laser welding speed is similar to electron beam, but because lasers do not require part transfer through a vacuum chamber, laser cycle time is dramatically shorter.

Laser Welding Increases drastically your ROI (Return-On-Investment)

SUPER HIGH ROI with Laser Welding

Cost Reduction of 70% or more is possible

HOW DO THE ADVANTAGES OF LASER WELDING INFLUENCE PART COSTS AND ROI OF A LASER WELDING CELL?

For most laser welded sheet metal parts, the weld quality and the speed of processing are far superior to conventional welding processes, and this ultimately results in increased profit margins. If you consider the complete sheet metal fabrication process (i.e. cutting, bending, punching and welding), welding and refinishing affect approximately 70 percent of the cost per part. This is mainly due to the length of time required and the high consumption costs associated with these processes. These main cost drivers are reduced by laser welding’s consistent quality and cosmetic seams. Our adjustable Wobble Function increases this consistent welding quality and boost the cosmetic perfect result to the highest level.

Since sheet metal fabricators benefit from the laser welding process in various ways, the ROI varies based on the production requirements of the shop. However, a laser welding cell can achieve a very high return on investment based on typical calculations. For example, pay-off time is roughly 7 to 9 months when a fabricator processes parts like covers and boxes, or fixtures such as counters and sinks for the medical or food service industries. This is true even when machine utilization is less than 50 percent and only active one shift per day.

Reducing drastically the ecological footprint of fabrication with fiber laser welding.

Committed to reduced energy consumption.

Carbon Footprint drastic reduction

Industrial fabrication, and the welding process in particular, is a highly energy intensive process involving the consumption of large quantities of gas, electricity and consumables. 
Laser welding consumes as little as 1/20th of the energy and gas consumed by TIG/GTAW for the same weld, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of our customers.
We’re committed to the development of technologies which reduce energy consumption, improve the sustainability of our industry and improve occupational health and safety.
 

Laser welding of sheet metal is very cost-effective

Many customers are misled into thinking that laser welding is out of their price range. However, despite its superior results and use of advanced technology, laser welding is actually highly affordable, with producttion prices much lower than conventional ARC welding when compared to the total process cost.

Laser welding minimizes drastically the need for grinding or finishing in post-welding.

During both MIG and TIG welding operations, residual spatter can—and often does—occur on the workpiece. In addition, both of these processes usually add filler metal to the weld joint. This excess material must be removed, generally through grinding or similar fnishing processes, before the part goes on to further processing operations or into use. By contrast, laser welding employs such a focused, brief application of heat that there is virtually no spatter or material buildup. This quality 
streamlines the manufacturing process for laser welded parts as the pieces do not need to undergo post-welding grinding or other fnishing operations and can proceed directly to painting and/or assembly
 

Laser welding is very fast and highly efficient.

Faster processing speeds are important to both reducing project lead-times and decreasing overall production costs. Laser welding is far quicker than alternative welding methods.

For example:  Laser welding has proven to be…

Up to 40 times faster than TIG welding
• Up to 10 times faster than MIG welding

By choosing to use the laser welding process for your welding projects, you as industry professionals can drastically cut lead-times and labor costs.  The increase in processing speeds when using laser welding techniques is aided by the employment of eventual advanced robotic technology. The robotic components support even more faster welding speeds (ranging from 1250 to 2500 mm per minute) as well as more precise and accurate weld locations. These qualities translate to quick and consistent results with an extremely low error rate.

Laser welding uses highly focused, high-intensity heat transfer application with very small heat-affected zone

The use of a highly focused, high-intensity laser beam during laser welding operations provides a much higher weld speed and minimizes the size of the workpiece’s heat-affected zone (HAZ). This smaller HAZ translates to better functional and aesthetic characteristics—in particular, the main benefit is the mitigation or elimination of thermal warping.
When heat is applied to a large area or for an extended period of time, the metal workpiece often experiences warping, which can weaken the structural integrity and aesthetic quality of the fnished piece. The laser welding process addresses both of these concerns as it creates a strong and aesthetically appealing weld.
 

Preventing warping is especially crucial for parts where the joint may be visible or subjected to heavy loads.
 

Laser welding creates strong joints comparable to those produced by conventional welding.

During laser welding operations, welders can create two different types of welds: keyhole and cosmetic (or conduction) welds. Keyhole welds are generally deeper than they are wide and are generally not cosmetic in appearance. In contrast, conduction or cosmetic welds are wider than they are deep and are more likely to be produced with longer applications of continuous waves. Both methods yield extremely strong welds with a high depth-to-width ratio comparable to those produced during conventional welding operations.