Deciding which metrics to use, when you measure the impact of an industrial laser, is a fundamental part of being able to assess the success and effectiveness of the tools you’re using. Without performance metrics, it’s difficult to use reliable data to inform your manufacturing decisions.
Industrial lasers have benefitted from improved quality and more reliable laser processes and this has led to better quality systems in place to measure performance.
So, which metrics should you use when evaluating the performance of your company’s industrial laser process and protecting your investment?
- Focus Location
- Focus Size
When you combine the power and focus size of a laser beam, this creates the beam intensity. Which is one of the most important elements when using your industrial laser; your laser beam needs to be able to interact with the materials you are using, with impact and precision.
If the beam has low intensity, then there is an increased chance of costly mistakes being made and a reduction in productivity. It needs to be strong and powerful to cope with materials. The intensity of your laser system can essentially determine the success of your overall industrial laser process.
The focus location is also part of effective performance measurement. The materials that your industrial laser is working on needs to be located at focus, because the strongest, ideal intensity occurs at focus and not anywhere else in the beam. When a material is interacting with a beam that is not in focus, then it won’t be receiving the full benefit and strength of the quality industrial laser you’re using.
Why should you be measuring your industrial laser?
Consistently measuring your industrial laser system, is an essential part of the ongoing maintenance of your system. Over time, and as you use your system regularly, it will inevitably decrease in performance levels, due to thermal processes taking place, and if it is not maintained correctly.
Laser measurements are often required, as part of the regulation around industrial lasers anyway, so it is often good practice and a legal obligation too.
Being able to decide how frequently maintenance should be carried out requires metrics to measure performance levels. Measurement equipment can capture several data points a second and real-time measurement to help you to assess performance levels.
The physical components that make up your industrial laser will degrade over time, because of usage but also the physical environments they operate in, which can often become dirty and are conducive to the components of the industrial laser.
If the components in the laser degrade over time, then this will have an effect on the power and focus size of your industrial laser. Therefore, in turn, the intensity of your industrial laser will be affected and weaken over time without maintenance.
It’s important to use contemporary measurement tools, because industrial lasers have advanced so quickly and some performance measurement equipment is outdated. The most current equipment gives a more complete picture of how an industrial laser system is behaving.