APPLICATION-SPECIFIC AND INTEGRATED BEAM DEFLECTION SOLUTIONS

Gain full control over your laser welding process 

QUICK FINDER 

AT A GLANCE - KEY POINTs


In the dynamic fields of automotive and e-mobility manufacturing, the integration of laser welding technologies is becoming essential. However, manufacturers encounter significant challenges with standard and customized laser machines, which offer limited process parameter access and lack flexibility for future adaptations. 
For this purpose, application-specific, highly integrated beam deflection units optimized for automotive applications offer a good solution. These units are tailored to the specific application requirements and can be integrated without complex engineering on the part of the integrator. Thanks to their hardware and software interfaces, they nevertheless offer maximum flexibility and comprehensive control options. This enables manufacturers to optimize laser processes in a targeted manner and gives them a strategic advantage in a rapidly developing market.

  • Innovation needs flexibility: In the automotive and e-mobility sectors, production is continuously optimized for quality and efficiency. This constant push for innovation drives the use of modern production tools like laser welding and cutting and demands high flexibility of these technologies.
  • Standard and customized laser machines often restrict access to vital process parameters: Thus, they lack the flexibility for future adaptations, presenting significant challenges in achieving optimal welding processes for critical components like EV batteries.
  • Application-specific, holistic approaches offer flexibility and control: The challenges can be addressed with application-specific, highly integrated beam deflection units, optimized for the automotive sector. These units include the necessary hard- and software features and offer the ease of integration, and the adaptability necessary for cutting-edge manufacturing processes.
  • Unleashing Manufacturing Potential: Integrating application-specific integrated solutions enables engineers to stay in control over process parameters, enhancing production quality, reducing costs, and ensuring competitiveness.

ADVANCED LASER TECHNOLOGIES DRIVE INNOVATION IN AUTOMOTIVE AND E-MOBILITY SECTORS

In the automotive and electromobility industry, the drive for innovation, efficiency and sustainability is and always has been strong. It is necessary to produce highly specific parts that not only meet stringent quality standards, but now also meet the unique design and material requirements of electric vehicles and hybrid systems. 

The complex assemblies for batteries, electric motors and structural components of electric vehicles require processes that can be adapted to different materials and geometries without compromising resilience or efficiency. For this reason, companies are increasingly relying on laser welding and cutting technologies as key components of their manufacturing processes.

However, realizing these optimal laser processes requires more than just advanced equipment; it demands access to detailed process parameters and a flexibility to integrate additional sensors or devices. This integration is essential for process optimization, enabling manufacturers to achieve higher throughput rates, minimize waste, and reduce production costs — all while ensuring that the final product adheres to the high-quality standards expected by consumers and regulatory bodies alike.

In this context, the automotive and e-mobility sectors face a dual challenge: adopting laser technologies that provide the flexibility and precision required for their specific applications, and integrating these technologies into their production lines in a way that allows for reliable production. This is a tall order, given the complexity of the parts involved and the high volumes typical of automotive manufacturing. Yet, it is a challenge that must be met to keep pace with the industry’s rapid advancement and the growing demand for electric and highly efficient vehicles.
 

THE CHALLENGE OF OPTIMIZING LASER MACHINES FOR PRODUCTION PROCESSES 


Given the special applications in automotive manufacturing, highly specialized laser machines are typically required here. When welding battery packs, for example, precise control of laser intensity, speed and path is important in order to achieve optimum weld seam strength and integrity. This is because the precision of the processing step has a direct influence on the quality and safety of the end product.

Here it is important to find solutions that allow such precise adjustment of the production process and are also suitable for reliable series production. But standard laser machines often reach their limits here.

Standard Hardware limits process improvements

Available standard machines for laser material processing usually only offer limited access to the critical process parameters. They often use a standardized machine concept that focuses on cost efficiency and user-friendliness. As the price of components increases with performance, these “one-fits-all systems” generally do not select the components that offer the highest performance or flexibility, but rather the components that are sufficient for most applications. Accordingly, standard laser machines usually contain beam deflection units and optics that are suitable for standard requirements in terms of dynamics, maximum speed or laser power.

To avoid this, some companies order customized laser machines in which hardware components are selected and installed specifically for a particular application. In this way, the production requirements can be covered very precisely. However, such laser machines are individual one-off solutions and usually do not take into account future production developments or changing process requirements.

Standard software prevents access to process parameters

The machines’ software further compounds this issue, restricting access to in-depth parameterization in the name of safety and user-friendliness. To avoid operating errors or damages only basic parameters are accessible in most of these machines. Such restrictions severely limit your ability to experiment with and refine laser processes. 

However, the precise adjustment of process parameters is particularly important for components that require high precision. When welding battery modules, for example, precise energy input is important for both performance and safety. And this can only be achieved by precisely adjusting the laser and scan settings.

Missing interfaces restrict machine improvements

The options for expanding standard machines and customer-specific solutions with new hardware and software functions are also often limited. The housing and beam path are often not designed for upgrades, leaving only limited options for you to integrate additional optics for process monitoring or beam modulation. 

The same holds true for the software, which is mostly individually programmed and developed for internal use only. As a result, it is difficult to access data from the machine or provide external control signals from added sensors.

The inability to seamlessly integrate new features, like additional sensors, monitoring systems, or software tools into these setups becomes a significant drawback. Manufacturers find themselves constrained by the initial design choices, unable to adapt to new advancements or process improvements without significant re-investment.

 

APPLICATION-SPECIFIC, HIGHLY INTEGRATED BEAM DEFLECTION UNITS FOR YOUR LASER WELDING MACHINE 

To overcome this dilemma of missing adaptability and scalability, it is necessary to foresee future process adaptions. Then, it becomes possible to take into account these factors in the requirements of the initial machine, providing the necessary flexibility to optimize your laser process. The beam deflection unit and the beam path are key components of each laser welding machine and play a significant role in preparing a future-ready setup. Hence, it is important that these offer the required buffer in specifications and comprise the necessary hardware and software interfaces.

Integrated system concept for straightforward machine implementation

The more demanding the process becomes, the higher the requirements for laser optics and beam deflection. It is therefore important to focus on the development of highly integrated beam deflection units instead of selling individual components.

For example, the RAYLASE AXIALSCAN FIBER series combines optical components for fiber coupling, beam collimation and focusing optics in a dust-tight housing specially designed for production environments. Teams of experts take care of the development and selection of the optimum components as well as the production of the system in the clean room. This results in a scanning solution that ensures optimum alignment of all optical components and is also designed for harsh production environments.

Optimized for specific fields of application

In order to prepare a beam deflection unit for possible process changes, in-depth knowledge of the processes and emerging technologies is required. This requires a constant exchange with industry experts and getting to know the challenges they face when implementing new approaches. With this knowledge, integrated scan systems can be optimized down to the smallest detail, e.g. the adaptation of scan system components to newly available laser sources such as ring mode lasers or beam shaping a new optics, or by intoducing z-axis for fast and precise control of the focus level for welding thin sheets. This ensures that the beam deflection units deliver optimum performance for their respective tasks, such as the welding of battery housings, hairpins or other engine components and lightweight elements.

However, process optimization is not just a question of hardware. The laser process can only be optimized with matching software. For this reason, integrated solutions include a suitable control card and a software suite that already contains many of the functions required for process optimization in the automotive and e-mobility sectors. For example, the laser power can be automatically ramp-controlled to avoid melting pool irregularities or punctures through thin sheets, or speed-dependent laser control can be used to ensure a constant energy input even with complicated welding paths.

By taking into account the latest developments in laser process technology, application-specific beam deflection units such as the RAYLASE AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-30 are ideally equipped for most technological innovations on the market and offer many opportunities to improve and expand your laser process.
 

Easily Expandable Using Standard Interfaces and Supporting Tools
 





The true power of such industry-specific, highly integrated beam deflection units lies in their scalability and expandability. With standard interfaces and an extensive portfolio of hardware and software addons, these units can be easily adapted and expanded to meet your evolving manufacturing requirements.

Whether it is integrating melt pool monitoring for improved quality control or adding advanced software for more process automation, the flexibility of solutions like the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-30 ensures that you can continuously optimize and refine your laser processes.

Additionally, supporting tools like the RAYLASE Process Data Analyzer and the Scan Field Calibrator further enhance process optimization. These tools provide in-depth analysis and highly accurate calibration, ensuring that each component is manufactured to the highest standards. 

SIMPLIFIED PROCESS OPTIMIZATION AND ENHANCED QUALITY

By using modern laser processing, higher product quality and lower production costs can be achieved in manufacturing, thus ensuring competitiveness even in the rapidly developing automotive and e-mobility markets.

The integration of application-specific, highly integrated beam deflection units in laser welding and laser cutting processes opens up new possibilities for manufacturing, as it is now possible to maintain control over the process parameters and thus full flexibility in optimizing your production.

As the automotive and e-mobility industries continue to evolve, the need for precision, efficiency and customized manufacturing processes will become increasingly important. Here, application-specific, integrated beam deflection units with their potential for upgrading represent a future-proof solution that not only enables process improvements, but also helps to redefine the standards for laser welding and laser cutting technologies.
 

download case

Fred Faity

Do you have any questions?

Your contact person will be happy to assist you

Fred Faity

Technical Sales

enquiries@raylase.de

+49 8153 9999 699

Get in Contact

RAYLASE worldwide

locations

Get expert advice for your application

contact us

Further applications

show all