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Growth Trends in Laser Power Technology

As device precision increases and prices become more affordable, laser power technology is becoming increasingly prevalent. The technology is typically employed for cutting, drilling, and welding in the aerospace, medical, and microelectronics industries. With a variety of laser types including CO2, nd:YAG, Fiber, and Excimer, it is now possible to remove thin films and drill holes on a microscopic scale in ways that were, until now, impossible.

New Developments Impact Industry Growth

Researchers at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories are developing compact and low-power terahertz lasers. Terahertz radiation has shown promise in applications for security and medical diagnostics with the use of tighter beams. Researchers have already developed a low-power device comprised of an array of 37 micro-fabricated lasers concentrated on a single chip, where the emitted radiation is phase-locked.

The defense and aerospace industries are also interested in developing advanced laser technology; researchers are currently working on a method to combine lasers into a coherent beam. By using these extremely powerful lasers, aerospace teams could power a spacecraft out of earth’s orbit into space at a tenth the speed of light — or even faster. With laser-powered interstellar travel, probes would reach planets in only a few decades, rather than in hundreds of thousands of years.

Thanks to advances in laser power technology, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) caught the gravitational waves caused by the recent merging of two black holes. A monumental observation, this was the first gravitational wave to be directly detected by scientists. To capture the waves, researchers increased the laser power by a factor of 75 to make the observational apparatus four times more sensitive.

Unmatched Capabilities

Offering enhanced capabilities at reduced costs, laser system technology is quickly growing in popularity and expanding in use. Lasers are now required for certain weaponry in military applications, utilized in macro- and micro- machining for industrial applications, and substituted for non-laser technologies in medical procedures. New applications for the advancing technology are being developed and optimized every day.

At Laserage, we recognize the importance of these new developments. As laser technology expands, we provide our customers with the resources they need to manufacture complex components and assemblies by making available and selecting the best laser systems and services for their projects. To learn more about selecting the right laser technology contract manufacturer to partner with on your job, check out our Quality Standards Checklist.

Quality Standards Checklist Download

Laserage Acquired by AMETEK, Inc.

We are eager to announce the joining of Laserage and AMETEK, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic equipment and electromechanical devices with headquarters in Pennsylvania and more than 200 manufacturing facilities worldwide. With its far-reaching influence in a range of industries and strong interest in the advancement of Medical Components, AMETEK is the perfect channel through which Laserage can contribute to the medical device industry in a tremendously positive way.

Laserage will continue to operate as an integral business unit under AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division and will maintain its locations in Waukegan, IL and Milpitas, CA. Laserage will remain focused on providing high quality laser processing, component assembly, and catheter development to its customers, as it has since 1979.

The acquisition of Laserage by AMETEK will be highly beneficial to customers, suppliers, and employees. As part of AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division, Laserage will have the opportunity to pursue more aggressive growth by expanding its capabilities and penetrating  new markets and technologies. AMETEK offers Laserage greater financial stability, capital availability, and opportunities for internal growth than Laserage previously had access to.

A Note to Our Readers:

We appreciate the excellent relationship we’ve established together over the years, and we are eager to nurture it as the newest unit of AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division. The potential to evolve our already-successful commercial partnership into something greater excites us, and we are appreciative of your continued support as we navigate through this advancement.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a member of our team.

Why Your Laser Processing Partner’s Certifications Matter

When choosing the best service provider for your company, quality is one of the most important factors to consider. Becoming familiar with a company’s adherence to quality management systems and their work toward improvements in efficiency and productivity can provide insights into their business ideals, ethics, and goals.

Particularly important in the medical, aerospace, industrial, and microelectronic industries, adherence to various quality standards ensures optimum product performance. As these industries are increasingly expected to provide evidence of quality management processes, it’s vital to fully understand a potential laser processing partner’s quality standards and how they will affect your company.

Certifications to Look for When Choosing a Laser Shop

ISO Certifications

Certifications issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ensure quality and efficiency of products, services, and systems while helping businesses decrease their environmental impact and cut down on expenses using streamlined systems. Because businesses across the world are held to the same standards, ISO certification is also a major factor in advancing global trade.

Finding a laser processing shop that is ISO certified ensures that all laser cutting, welding, drilling, and finishing will be done as efficiently as possible. ISO 13485, specifically, sets standards for the design and production of medical device components — a field that necessitates the utmost attention to quality.

ITAR

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a U.S. government regulation that manages the import and export of defense-related products and services. Many major U.S. OEMs require suppliers to be ITAR compliant.

EAR

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) — another U.S. government regulation — pertains to the import and export of most commercial products, many of which are “dual-use,” for both commercial and military functions. Similar to ITAR compliance requirements, the majority of U.S. OEMs mandate supplier compliance with EAR.

RoHS

Originating in the European Union (EU), The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulation, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC or Lead-Free, regulates the use of certain hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products.

REACH

REACH, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, is another EU regulation. This measure aims to protect both people and the environment from chemical risks while also promoting competition in the EU chemical industry.

Laserage’s Quality Certifications

At Laserage Technology Corporation, we pride ourselves on our adherence to quality standards and strong business ethics. In fact, our quality policy dictates that we “Focus on Excellence.” We’re registered to the medical device component manufacturing ISO 13485:2003 for laser processing and assembling of medical device components and subassemblies. We conduct both internal and external audits regularly to ensure compliance to the 13485 standard as well as ISO 9001:2008 for non-medical components.

Going one step further, our global code of conduct establishes compliance with all known and applicable laws and ensures that we adhere to the highest standards of business ethics.

Learn More About Laserage

To learn more about Laserage’s certifications and how we can partner with you to complete your next medical device component laser processing project, download our Quality Standards for Laser Technology Contract Manufacturers eGuide.

Quality Standards Checklist Download

How to Find the Right Laser Processing Partner

To ensure that your medical device manufacturing projects are accomplished as efficiently and quickly as possible, it’s important to find the right laser processing partner.

Choosing the right partner for your specific needs will save time, reduce costs, conserve resources, and give you confidence that your project will be completed smoothly through a reliable partnership.

The Efficiency of Laser Manufacturing

Medical laser cutting creates extremely precise cuts at tight tolerances. Because laser cutting systems produce low heat levels, they reduce the risk of material warping and require less energy input compared to standard machinery. There is also no contact between the workpiece and the cutting apparatus, which eliminates the risk of material contamination when working with plastic, metal, or wood.

Precision laser drilling services are especially ideal for applications that require small holes with large depth-to-diameter ratios. The drilling process is repeatable and very fast, making it well-suited to the high-production volumes associated with fully automated or semi-automated tooling applications, and can be used with both hard and soft materials.

Laser welding, meanwhile, allows for the fabrication of the intricate and thin-walled components often required in medical devices. The welding process needs little joint preparation — sometimes none at all —saving time and money, especially with high production volumes. Because metal is fused within a very small area at high speeds and consistent welds, laser welding causes less workpiece distortion.

How to Find a Versatile Laser Shop

In order to get your projects completed efficiently, safely, and on-time, it’s essential that you find a laser shop that can handle your unique needs.

Before selecting a laser processing partner, get a clear overview of the technologies a company utilizes. Far-infrared (CO2), near-infrared (Nd:YAG, fiber, and disk), ultra-short pulse (femto), and UV equipment are common options, each of which is suited to different applications. CO2 lasers, for instance, are ideal for working non-metallic materials, while fiber lasers are best for metal engraving and metal marking through annealing.

Many materials can be laser processed, including stainless and steel alloys, titanium and nitinol, plastics, wood, ceramics, coated metals, acrylic, and bioabsorbable materials. Getting a clear view of your potential laser partner’s capabilities before moving forward will ensure a smooth, successful, and long-lasting working relationship.

Is Your Laser Processing Partner Reliable?

Medical-Parts-Cutting-5x7When choosing a laser partner, it’s important to consider their reliability. Look through portfolios of their previous work to get a better idea of their capabilities and ideals. If you’re not finding what you need on their website, request portfolios and additional case studies to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

Looking through their list of clients — or even asking to speak to some of them as a reference — will give you a clearer picture of their past projects and areas of expertise, their typical customers, and the materials with which they can work.

Learning about a laser shop’s commitment to quality and any certifications they may hold will also help you during this critical decision-making process.

Certifications to Look for When Choosing a Laser Shop

iso-13485-image-with-borderWhen choosing a laser shop to partner with, quality is of utmost importance. A potential partner should have a robust quality manual containing all of their certification information, their goals and ideals, and an outline of their business ethics.

For medical device laser processing, ISO 13845 is particularly important. This certification ensures that the design, production, installation, and servicing of medical devices is done in accordance with established safety and quality regulations. Laser shops committed to quality will also conduct regular external and internal audits to ensure ISO 13845 compliance.

RoHS compliance, which regulates the use of hazardous materials, and REACH, which protects people and the environment from harmful chemicals, should also be considered in your search for a laser processing partner.

To be sure of your partner’s commitment to quality, team up with a shop that has its own inspection capabilities and global code of conduct.

Consider Laserage for All of Your Laser Needs

For over 35 years, Laserage Technology Corporation has been at the forefront of laser manufacturing.

To meet our customers’ specific needs, we make use of several custom-designed laser systems, including far-infrared (CO2), near-infrared (Nd:YAG, fiber, and disk), UV, and ultra-short pulse (femto) equipment. We can handle a wide range of materials — titanium and nitinol, stainless steel and steel alloys, brass, plastics, and ceramics, to name a few — in the manufacture of medical device components such as stents, bone saws, delivery systems, and hones.

Laserage’s full-time quality personnel ensure that every job is completed in a safe, efficient, and timely manner. We’re not only registered to ISO 13485:2003 for medical device components, but also to ISO 9001:2008 for all other products and components. Our company is also in full compliance with REACH and RoHS.

To learn more about how we can help you accomplish your next project, download our eBook, “Design for Manufacturability: Maximizing the Advantages of Laser Cutting.”

download our design for laser cutting manufacturability ebook