Brazing and welding with filler wire are well-established methods of joining metal components. Diode lasers are particularly suited to applications such as the brazing of car body components in industrial mass production, because they are virtually maintenance-free. Their low space requirements, mobility, high efficiency, and process stability make diode lasers the most efficient tool for such applications.
Laser Brazing in Automotive Industry
In addition to the requirements of high strength and a small heat affected zone, particularly high demands are made on the appearance of the weld seam in the case of visible seams.
Therefore, in the automotive industry, laser brazing is used for joining the visible, external parts of vehicles, for example trunk lid, roof seams, doors or C pillars.
Almost Maintenance Free
Greatest process stability and high availability of equipment in three-shift production are requirements in the automotive industry, which are ideally met by the diode laser that is considered proven technology in many applications.
The diode laser is clearly superior to other laser beam sources because it is almost maintenance-free with a lifetime of more than 30,000 operating hours and excellent efficiency. As a comparison: Lamp pumped Nd:YAG lasers require lamp changes by trained maintenance personnel approximately every 1,000 operating hours, resulting in considerable down time.
Low Space Requirements
Increasingly, floor space reduction has become a must when designing new production lines. One advantage of diode lasers is their small footprint, which is only under 1m² footprint of other lasers in the same performance class.
Being compact and robust allows for the diode lasers to be mobile, enabling entirely new backup strategies. For maintenance work or in the case of a malfunction, the laser can simply be exchanged and replaced.
Maintenance or repair now can take place in the maintenance area instead of on the production line, not causing production stoppages and enabling a more flexible approach to service by either the customer or Laserline service personnel.