System and process development for functionalization of electrical components by laser-based gold micro deposition
During the manufacture of electrical contact components, the contacts are coated with precious metals. Currently, energyand resource-intensive electroplated coatings are used. A sustainable alternative is the local functionalization of sheet parts using small gold spots with the appropriate system technology for laser-based micro wire deposition. However, the necessary process reliability and required short cycle times represent a challenge for the technology. Within this paper, the system development of a stand-alone coating system is described. The approach presented is based on a laser beam deflection unit, fully automatic laser system control, a 5-axis wire head and a quality assurance system. An analysis of the deposition results was carried out, taking into account crucial process parameters. The resource efficiency study shows significantly reduced gold usage through local sustainable coating. Almost 100% material utilization is achieved, while gold spots geometry and position can be adjusted and replace the full surface electroplating coating.