June 22, 2015 — Munich, Germany — Ophir Photonics Group, global leader in precision laser measurement equipment and a Newport Corporation company, today announced the newest version of BeamWatch®, the only non-contact beam monitoring system for high power lasers, at LASER World of PHOTONICS 2015. BeamWatch is designed for very high power YAG, fiber, and diode lasers used in industrial material processing applications, such as welding and cutting operations in automotive, heavy equipment, and appliance manufacturing, or in oil & gas drilling. The new version features high magnification optics that measure beams with spot sizes down to 55µm. This allows for smaller, more precise cuts with less waste of material. BeamWatch also supports dual axis measurement, which lets users see the laser beam from two orthogonal axes. Measurements are calculated on each axis, providing detailed information about how the laser is operating. Focal shift can be tracked on both axes and the measurements can be used to determine the roundness of the beam or the presence of astigmatism.
Because there is no contact with the laser beam, BeamWatch has no power restrictions; it has been successfully used on high power lasers up to 100kW. Conventional beam measurement systems place a probe in the beam, causing potential damage and slowing the measurement process to as long as two minutes to gather data and characterize the beam. BeamWatch takes measurements every 60ms, providing instant readings of focus spot size and beam position, as well as dynamic measurements of focal plane location during process start-up.
"Welding and cutting are increasingly complex processes with many factors affecting spot size, including laser power, focal spot size, shape, position, and shift," said Gary Wagner, General Manager, Ophir Photonics (U.S.). "Take the new, remote, 'on-the-fly' welding techniques, as an example. In these applications, it is essential to know where the focus spot is after manipulation within the weld area. BeamWatch's dynamic focus shift capabilities allow for instant readings and, therefore, rapid correction of large area cosine changes. This means smaller, higher accuracy welds and cuts, and reduced variability across parts."
BeamWatch monitors high power YAG, fiber, and diode lasers in the 980-1080nm range. The system measures key beam size, position, and quality parameters, including focus spot size, waist width, and beam propagation parameter (M2). The system runs in Technician Mode, where access is provided to the tools needed for start-up and advanced beam diagnostics. BeamWatch includes the tools to support Automation Clients written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), C++, CLI, or any .Net compliant environment, such as LabVIEW® or Microsoft® Excel.
Availability & Pricing
The BeamWatch family includes four models, which are available now:
BeamWatch data sheet: http://ow.ly/OxJvK
SOURCE: Ophir Photonics