Laser Light: a “jack of all trades”

Intensity, direction and form – no other tool is as flexible as laser light. WILD opens a huge variety of laser applications for its customers thanks to a special beam shaping.

Ablation, drilling, cutting, structuring, bonding, metallurgical processing, roughening surfaces, burnishing or cleaning: there are hardly any limits to what laser can do in material processing. The same is true for the type of the material. Whether metal, glass, plastic or even skin: a bundled laser beam is a universal tool for both industry and medicine. Lasers have also made significant progress in measurement technology or photobiomodulation. But what is the real secret behind the boom in laser applications? In many cases, they are simply the result of improvements in laser beam shaping.

Beam shaping opens new possibilities

In material processing targeted laser beam modulation was what made progress possible in several applications in the first place. Solid-state lasers, especially laser diodes, created a completely new range of possibilities. They created laser light in different wavelengths with ever increasing intensity, less space required, and decreasing costs. As a result, more and more applications are now being created for lasers in medicine and technology. That is, provided there is success in shaping the laser in such a manner so as to allow a perfect adjustment to the respective requirement. WILD has been focusing precisely on this challenge for over 25 years: making the potential of laser technology specifically usable for its customers‘ requirements. The company‘s core competence lies in the shaping of the laser beam using optomechatronic elements. „Only after you guide a laser beam through an optical system you will eventually obtain the characteristics required for the respective task. So our work begins where the laser beam leaves the source“, explains Stefan Werkl, Head of Optical Technologies at WILD GmbH. The systems partner develops and manufactures lens systems that modify the beam accordingly, ranging from laser mirrors and prisms tolaser beam expanders or splitters, laser windows and laser filters.

New laser scanner generation

WILD currently produces the optics module of a new 3D laser scanner generation for a leading provider of 3D measurement technology. Specifically, the Systems partner has been responsible for the development, production and assembly of the adjustment systems, which guarantee that the emitted laser beam is precisely adjusted in the μrad range. To guarantee high functionality of the module in the smallest of spaces, it is necessary to apply extreme precision during assembly. „Despite the extremely demanding geometries, we must meet tolerances in the 0.01mm range. To ensure a 100-percent quality level, we have built automated laser measuring equipment that tests every module.“

Particle measurement using laser technology

A highly precise optical sensor that records and detects ultra-fine dust particles smaller than 0.2 micrometres. This is another laser application developed by WILD using optics know-how and special skills such as optical and mechanical tolerance analyses, precision manufacturing and miniaturisation in optomechatronics. „For the prototypes already available, we have developedan optics concept that meets the tight tolerances (divergence > 35 degrees and beam alignment < 3 degrees) at signal generation even under serial production conditions. To achieve this, we had to redesign the laser module using reverse engineering. We applied alignment turning for the extremely precise assembly of the components. We also had to create the necessary measuring environment for that purpose“, explains Stefan Werkl.

Highest particle cleanliness for lasers

WILD has been a strategic partner for laser specialists for industrial applications for several years. A particular feature of these is that the corresponding security areas must be established in a cleanroom. WILD meets the high cleanliness requirements in the μ range using bespoke cleaning processes and product-specific particle analyses.