Is your laser cutting machine losing power over time?

Output power is one of the most critical parameters of laser cutting machines which could decrease over time due to wear and tear or user errors. Therefore, promptly diagnosing it by using appropriate power monitoring instruments and techniques is easy and saves time and money for your business.

You may have troubles that need to be diagnosed

Laser cutting machines are amazing devices, and most of them work nonstop to enable an efficient laser business. Like all devices, some of the parameters of your laser system might not remain constant over time due to several reasons.

The most important parameter during a laser cutting process is, of course, the optical power of your laser. A decrease or fluctuation in this causes performance loss in material processing applications. The root of this problem varies according to the type of laser and technology used.

Lasers consist of several critical components whose life cycles identify the lifetime of your laser system. For instance, today, most of the laser cutting systems have diode-pumped architecture. Diodes are the locomotives of a laser system, but they do age over time, hence the reason why the power of the laser system decreases.

The temperature of laser components is important for a stable operation. Cooling systems such as chillers are used in most of the high-power laser systems to keep the temperature of the laser at optimum levels. Any cooling system related problem causes performance loss and affects the output power of your laser. 

Generally, a high input voltage is necessary to operate a laser system. So, power supply problems are inevitable in the long run. Any electrical problem could affect the dynamics of the lasers and may result in power loss and fluctuations. But the sooner you know it, the sooner you can fix it.

Monitoring laser power to identify potential problems

Alternatively, instead of being laser-based, your system’s problem could be due to external factors. For instance, if you notice that your power level isn’t what you expected, the problem might be due to assist gas pressure or damage to the laser head of the nozzle or to the focusing lens. Nevertheless, a quick power monitoring using high power laser detectors will allow you to find out problems and eliminate potential problems.

Also, sometimes your laser power looks fine after measurement, but you might still have consistency problems due to deterioration of your laser’s stability. In this case, it is necessary to verify the long-term stability of your laser by logging the output power data and examine it. We offer laser detectors that can save the data directly in the internal memory and transfer to your PC.

Lastly, monitoring laser power periodically will help you to validate the performance of your laser over time. It will help you to find out signs of potential laser system problems, thus you could contact the system manufacturer before the problem grows and you can take the relevant precautions and save time.

In a materials processing production environment where every second matters, diagnosing any performance loss of your laser system rises in importance. For whatever reason that causes power loss, monitoring laser power by using appropriate laser power meters is an important way to keep your system secure.

Gentec Electro-Optics is specialized in laser beam and terahertz source measurement and analysis. With an outstanding 45-year track record of innovation, developing and providing state-of the-art technologies to the laser market, Gentec-EO has become The Expert of the laser beam measurement field. For all sorts of laser applications from the factory to the hospital, laboratory and research center, Gentec-EO offers the broadest range of off-the-shelf and custom solutions, and stands ready to serve you now and in the future.
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