Making Light Work For You!

With over 2 decades of manufacturing experience, and over 300 units in production globally, Thinklaser is your ideal partner for custom laser systems and bespoke laser based engineering projects. Right from the design stages, our dedicated team will ensure a smooth running project with the utmost in customer satisfaction.

Our experienced in-house technical group has expertise covering electrical & mechanical 3D design, software development and coding, electrical & mechanical assembly, testing and qualification, prototype build, initial production and on-going production capabilities.

Energy efficiency, laser safety, environmental concerns and health priorities – are all incorporated into the design brief at the earliest stage, allowing the development of products that consider real world applications, working environments and user safety.

To ensure that the highest standards are met, considerable resource is allocated to the essential processes of product testing and refining production techniques.

Laser safety, electrical integrity, mechanical safety and electro-mechanical compatibility are evaluated against internationally recognised standards. Compliance to these standards are the foundation to our bespoke laser systems product design and build.

Some Of Our International Clients

Electronics
Aerospace
Sportsware

Custom Laser Systems in Electronics

Laser processing techniques have a natural affinity with the electronics sector. Whether it’s permanent marking for traceability or micro-marking for anti-counterfeit purposes, Thinklaser has a solution.

If you are looking to remove labelling from your products, Thinklaser utilises CO2, Fibre and UV laser sources, achieving a permanent high contrast mark on all metals and most non-metallic materials.

Custom Laser Systems in Aerospace

Thinklaser is no stranger to being at the forefront of new technology. A recent R&D project with the European Space Agency required us design a new method of creating pressure vessel/structural components from a new material using lasers and robotics.

Speed to market is of vital importance in the sportswear / fashion market sectors. Utilising lasers within the R&D / prototype departments can significantly reduce the time to produce samples and subsequent product changes, while keeping tooling costs to a minimum.

Increasingly, we have been asked to provide product personalisation solutions for the retail environment. As always, safety, reliability and usability are the keystones of our designs.

Our Capabilities

Mechanical, Electrical & Software Design & Manufacture

Part Handling & Robotics Integration

Jig Design & Manufacture

Integrated Pneumatics

Integrated Visions Systems

Certification & Class Approved Systems

Full Class 1 Enclosure or Class 4 Systems Ready for Line Integration

Scalable and Upgradeable Systems

Cutting-Edge Technology

Some Of Our Design Briefs

Teague Chokes
Tata Steel
European Space Agency

Custom Laser Marking Solution

Teague, a valued customer with a decade-old Thinklaser marking system, decided it was time to upgrade to a more automated laser marking solution for their Choke products.

The challenge was managing over a hundred different variants, each requiring unique logos, text, and serialization. They needed to streamline the process and minimize marking errors. Additionally, they sought to achieve durable, high-contrast marks while speeding up product handling, enabling their operator to perform additional tasks during the marking process.

The Solution

To simplify the variant marking process, we created a job file with variable fields that would automatically populate with the correct information when the operator scanned the barcode from a job sheet.

For the durable, high-contrast laser mark, we lightly engraved the surface of the choke to create a recess and then overprinted with different laser settings to leave a black “annealed” mark.

Finally, we enhanced material handling by implementing a Ferris Wheel jig. The operator manually loaded the required number of chokes onto the jig. Once the laser marking process began, the Ferris Wheel would rotate to position each choke, and then rotate the choke under the laser beam for 360-degree marking.

High Powered Laser Drilling Solution

Tata Steel requested our expertise to develop a laser-based product inspection tool designed to identify non-conforming sections of sheet steel on their roll-to-roll production line.

The challenge was to drill a 0.5mm diameter hole in the non-conforming section every 500mm through sheet steel up to 300 microns thick, moving at speeds of up to 110 meters per minute.

The Solution

Our solution composed of a 400W fibre laser source with oxygen assist and high speed galvo scan head fitted as part of the production line. All within a Class 1 laser safe environment.

When the sensors on the production line identified a non-conforming section of steel, they would send an activation signal to our laser system. Using rotary encoders, our laser system would calculate the speed of the production line and start to drill a hole “on-the-fly” every 500mm without slowing down the production process. 

If you are wondering how does a hole help to improve product quality, we need to explain how it is used at the customer. 

When the roll of sheet steel is being processed at the customer, a light is shone in the location where the holes, if present, will be. The beam of light will activate a sensor when it passes through the hole and tell the system that the subsequent material is not for production and will be fed through for recycling. 

Our solution utilized a 400W fiber laser source with oxygen assist and a high-speed galvo scan head integrated into the production line.

When the sensors on the production line identified a non-conforming section of steel, they sent an activation signal to our laser system. Using rotary encoders, our laser system calculated the production line speed and drilled a hole “on-the-fly” every 500mm without slowing down the process.

To understand how these holes improve product quality, it’s important to know their application at the customer’s site. During processing, a light is shone at the location where the holes should be. If the beam of light passes through a hole, it activates a sensor that signals the system to divert the subsequent material for recycling, ensuring only conforming material proceeds to production.

 

Designing a Space Bound Manufacturing Process.

The Filament Winding of Titanium Silicon Carbides (TiSiCs) project was proposed by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP).

The GSTP is receives funding from the ESA’s Member States on a voluntary basis and provides funding for projects with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4 – 6. The goal of the GSTP as stated by ESA is to ensure that “the right technology with the right maturity are available at the right time”.

In early 2015, after successfully tendering for the project, TISICS Limited and Thinklaser Limited were jointly awarded €2.5M in research and development funding from the GSTP.

The project is aimed at developing a method to wind a TiSiC fibre around a rotating mandrel (a process called filament winding) and securing fibres together to produce sub-scale and in a second phase full scale components for use in the space industry. This method will be capable of producing surfaces that bend in two axes, meaning that more complex components can be produced using titanium silicon carbide composites leading to greater weight saving and, as a result, cost savings.

Orbital launches are extremely expensive, costing €10,000 for each kg of payload mass, as a result the reduction in mass of components intended for space will lead to large cost savings throughout the supply chain. In addition there is a new push to incorporate more green based products meaning that new materials and composites are required.

The two companies will work on the project together with TISICS providing the material, testing and component production knowledge and Thinklaser providing the material handling and laser processing knowledge.

This GSTP project with ESA was established to help Europe exploit the performance advantages of the fibre reinforced titanium composites. The GSTP focuses on the development of systems for filament winding parts to achieve precise fibre positioning in complex curved shapes and more efficient automated production, particularly for multi-axial fibre reinforced tubular parts. The process will enable the production of fibre reinforced tubular and spherical pressure vessels in the future where the curvature is not achievable with current foil and fibre composite processes.

 

Check out our video on the prototype system here

Check Out Our Bespoke Laser System Solution for Renishaw 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Custom Laser Systems

What are custom laser systems?

Custom laser systems are laser machines designed and tailored to meet specific requirements and applications for various industries.

How do custom laser systems differ from standard laser systems?

Custom laser systems are specifically designed to meet unique needs, providing tailored solutions that standard off-the-shelf systems may not offer.

What industries benefit from custom laser systems?

Industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical devices, electronics, jewellery, and packaging can benefit from custom laser systems.

What types of applications can custom laser systems be used for?

Custom laser systems can be used for marking, engraving, cutting, etching, welding, drilling, and ablation, among other applications.

How do you design a custom laser system?

We start by understanding your specific requirements, followed by a collaborative design process involving our engineers and your team to create a system tailored to your needs.

What are the advantages of using a custom laser system?

Advantages include precision, efficiency, reliability, and the ability to meet specific operational goals and regulatory requirements.

How long does it take to develop a custom laser system?

The development time varies based on the complexity and specific requirements of the project. Typically, it can range from a few weeks to several months.

What is the cost of a custom laser system?

Costs vary depending on the design, complexity, and specific features required. We provide detailed quotes based on your unique needs.

Are your custom laser systems compliant with industry standards?

Yes, our systems are designed to comply with relevant industry standards and regulations, ensuring safety and reliability.

Can custom laser systems be upgraded or modified after installation?

Yes, our custom laser systems are designed with flexibility in mind, allowing for upgrades and modifications as your needs evolve. But we would always recommend consideration be given to adding functions that are likely to be needed in the future as part of the consultation process.

Can I see examples of previous custom laser systems you’ve designed?

Yes, we have a portfolio of case studies and success stories from various industries that we can share with you. However, because of non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) we may be limited in how much information we can provide on certain projects.

Do you provide training for operating custom laser systems?

Yes, we provide thorough training for your staff to ensure they are proficient in operating and maintaining the custom laser system.

What kind of support and maintenance do you offer for custom laser systems?

We offer comprehensive support, including installation, training, maintenance, and repair services to ensure your system operates optimally.

How do custom laser systems improve efficiency?

Custom laser systems are optimized for your specific applications, resulting in higher precision, faster processing times, and reduced waste.

What materials can be processed with custom laser systems?

Our custom laser systems can process a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, glass, and more.

Why would I need a Custom Designed Laser?

Some niche production applications can benefit from a custom designed laser solution. One size does not fit all when it comes to specialised laser manufacturing processes, especially when the application requires high tolerance marking or cutting. When high volume production is required, what initially seems like a simple application can become significantly more difficult when automation is needed. 

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