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Integration of a smart measurement device in the laser structuring process chain to ensure high quality

: Pothen, Mario; Henrichs, Oliver

Laser Institute of America -LIA-:
ICALEO 2017, 36th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics. Online resource : October 22-26, 2017
Orlando, Fla.: LIA, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-940168-14-2
7 pp.
International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) <36, 2017, Atlanta/Ga.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPT ()
Automatisierung; computer aided engineering; Lasermaterialbearbeitung; metrology

The manufacturing technology laser structuring is a rapidly growing technology used to create microstructures on surfaces. These structures are utilized for technical surface functionalization, e.g. for design or tribological applications. To manufacture these structures, material is evaporated or sublimated layer-by-layer by guiding a pulsed laser beam on defined paths over the workpiece. Especially in the area of single part production, it is hard to predict the exact depth of the structuring process due to a complex correlation between the used materials and a multitude of process parameters. Hence, extensive preliminary tests are required to find suitable process parameter combinations for the material to be processed. However, even those parameters are often not optimal because the test sample size is finite and small derivations in material structure homogeneity can result in different ablation characteristics and consequential in reject. Therefore, an inline measurement system has been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT. It has been integrated as a cyber physical system into the optical path of a laser structuring machine. This way, measurements can be conducted on the machining device itself without the need to mount the workpiece on a separate measuring device. The integrated measurement system is not only being used for final quality control, but also enables a new level of process control. In this paper, the authors present the integration of this smart device into the CAx process chain and how it is used for process control. To adapt the process, sampled geometry information is fed back to the CAM system and compared to expected values. The result can be used to adjust process parameters to meet the intended ablation in the following layers. Thus, a self-adaptive production is realized which ensures reaching the final target depth automatically within smallest tolerances.