UNIQUELY UNIVERSAL FEATURES
From the development of laser sources, productivity enhancement technologies, advanced software and beam delivery systems to our investment in the research of laser materials processing science and applications, ULS is committed to providing our customers with the most innovative, cost effective, flexible and scalable laser material processing solutions for today and future needs.
There are three primary CO2 laser types found today in the market Universal Laser Systems serves. These are metal core, ceramic core, and glass tube. Within each laser category there are several different technologies used to control and supply power to the laser sources.
Using decades of materials processing expertise, numerous patented technologies, and millions of hours of field service around the world, ULS has designed a highly-optimized solution for laser cutting, engraving, and marking: an integrated air-cooled, metal core, CO2 laser source, with a mode-replicating, free-space slab resonator and an integrated RF power supply. The combination of technologies involved in this design not only makes ULS laser sources compact, but also permits both pulsed and true continuous wave (CW) operation. Furthermore, the combination of military grade construction and the ability to completely reprocess the laser renders these laser sources indefinitely maintainable.
ULS laser sources from 10 watts to 500 watts
ULS manufactures lasers ranging from 10 watts up to 500 watts in output power at both 10.6µm and 9.3µm wavelengths. All ULS laser sources have integrated air-cooling throughout the entire power range. The laser sources provide several processing benefits to the customer:
ULS Laser Innovation
Excellent Laser Cutting, Engraving, and Marking Quality
The improved ability to focus the laser beam results in highly consistent processing.
High Processing Throughput
Through more effective use of laser energy the laser system throughput can be dramatically improved.
Enables Multiple Other Universal Features
Examples include Rapid Reconfiguration™, Dual Laser and SuperSpeed™ technologies.
Aerospace grade welded aluminum, low voltage power supplies along with integrated safety features reduce the risk of hazards.
High Reliability and Serviceability
The design of the laser sources along with a unique laser service program reduces the laser system downtime significantly.
THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED, POWERFUL AND FLEXIBLE LASER PRINT DRIVER FOR MATERIAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS.
The Universal Control Panel (UCP) and the Laser System Manager (LSM) are user interfaces that control ULS laser systems. Both user interfaces are configured intuitively, enabling all users to produce expert quality results. Both include a Printer Driver and Direct Import Feature for uploading graphic designs. They also provide an Intelligent Materials Database that calculates optimized settings for laser processing on hundreds of materials.
The Intelligent Materials Database also allows for manual override control for adjusting laser material processing settings. Both the Universal Control Panel (UCP) and the Laser System Manager (LSM) also provide a Duplicate feature for creating multiple instances of a design file and an Estimator feature that provides accurate calculation of processing times for every laser material processing job.
The Intelligent Materials Database can calculate optimised laser settings for hundreds of materials. This eliminates the need for users to develop settings through trial and error, saving substantial time and materials. The materials database window makes it easy for users to select the proper material. The optimum settings are then calculated automatically enabling the user to achieve professional quality laser material processing results.
The user interfaces are designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Running laser processes with these interfaces is as easy as 1-2-3. The user first uploads or prints the design file. Virtually any design file format can be used. The next step is to select the material from the Materials Database and enter a thickness. The database automatically calculates the optimized laser settings. The final step is to press “Start” to begin laser processing.
ULS regularly updates the interface software; updates are posted quarterly and can be accessed online.
The Manual Control feature allows users to enter laser settings for specific materials and applications. Every laser processing parameter can be controlled individually using the manual controls, providing unlimited processing flexibility.
LASER SYSTEM MANAGER (LSM) - ULTRA SERIES
The Laser System Manager (LSM) is the control software for ULTRA laser systems. It provides an advanced user interface with a high degree of functionality and control that allows users to efficiently operate the laser system, manage design files, and apply laser material processing parameters.
All laser system and software functions are easily accessible through the LSM interface including:
Design File Import, Printing & Management
The LSM supports importing of industry standard files including DXF, PDF, and G-Code. In addition to importing, design files can be transferred to the laser system via a printer driver workflow available for Window’s and macOS operating systems. Design files are converted to control files in the LSM. Control files consist of design file information plus laser system control settings. Control files are displayed in visual grid or list view and can easily be searched by image or by file name.
Application of Laser Processing Settings
The laser processing settings that are applied to a control file for laser processing a material or application are accessed through the LSM. Settings available include: raster, vector, speed, power, PPI, image density, dithering, acceleration, cutting order, processing direction, segment reduction, gas flow rate, SuperSpeed™ control, and rotary axis control.
Settings can be automatically generated and applied to a control file by using pre-defined parameters available through the Intelligent Materials Database or customized by the user.
Intelligent Materials Database
A powerful and unique database that automatically generates optimized laser processing parameters for a wide variety of materials (including different types and thickness) based on the laser power ratings and wavelengths configured on the laser system. For more details see Intelligent Materials Database Innovation.
Custom laser settings for a specific material or thickness not listed in the Intelligent Materials Database can be created by applying settings. Users can also adjust the pre-defined settings generated by the Intelligent Materials Database to create custom settings. Customized settings created by the user can be saved as recipes and applied to any control file.
In addition to these operation settings, the LSM offers additional advanced features to achieve optimal material processing results:
A user adjustable control that compensates for material width removed during laser cutting to achieve desired dimensions without changing the design file. It maintains true arc and circle geometry if present in the design. This feature can save setup time by eliminating the need to adjust the design file geometry in the original design software.
The Drill Feature allows users to drill holes with a user-defined duty cycle and number of pulses at specific (X,Y) locations in the processing area. This allows users to create much smaller and more uniform holes in thin materials than would be possible by creating circles using a vector process. This feature can also increase productivity since it focuses on a single point for a hole instead of multiple points required for a circle.
Camera Control for Vision and Positioning
For ULTRA laser systems with an installed camera or cameras, the LSM displays camera images (vision) and contains all controls for camera related functions including locating registration marks and positioning control files on materials. A door mounted camera that is positioned from the material when the door is open is used to provide an overall view of the entire multi-function material support structure and materials placed on it. A carriage mounted camera that can be repositioned directly over material placed on the multi-function material support structure provides a high resolution close-up view. Additionally, the carriage camera is used for high-precision location of registration marks.
Precision Material Independent Autofocus Control
The LSM contains controls to set the autofocus probe positioning and activation for multiple points of focus to enable users to achieve high quality and consistent repeatable results. The focus operations are performed automatically and in the sequence and locations defined by the user.
System Control with Automation Interface
The Automation Interface is an addressable device that can receive input signals and provide output signals. This enables the laser system to control external devices and allows external devices to initiate laser system functions. The Automation Interface is controlled by the LSM.
System Configuration and Calibration Settings
Configuration settings including Units (inches or millimeters), Laser Diode Control, X-Y Homing Before Processing, and Autofocus (on/off) are available in the LSM. Calibration settings can be changed using a set of wizards and dialogs. Calibration functions include: Y-Axis, Autofocus, Alignment, Ruler Offsets, Lens, Carriage Camera, Door Camera, Rotary, and SuperSpeed™. Calibration is performed at the factory prior to shipment of the system and during installation. Once initial calibration is performed, further calibration is not needed. However, calibration may be required after updating system software, replacing components, or as part of a diagnostic procedure.
Wired and Wireless Network Management
ULTRA systems can access either a wired or wireless network. This LSM function allows selection of network and device naming. Connection to a network is optional but enables Remote Diagnostics and Remote Operation from browser compatible devices on the same network.
User Access and Administration
User names, logins, and privileges are all administered through the LSM. For logins, users can be required to log in locally or given remote access. Administrators have the ability to set user privileges to include or exclude: modifying control files, modifying users, operating the laser system, viewing all control files, and configuring the laser system.
Help and Diagnostics
The Help & Diagnostics Page provides information on the laser system’s state, provides access to Remote Diagnostics, and enables the user to update the LSM software.
Universal Laser Systems is the only laser system manufacturer that offers Rapid Reconfiguration™. This patented technology allows users to adapt their laser materials processing solution to match their ever-changing business needs – no tools or special training required. At its core, Rapid Reconfiguration allows users to very simply install and reinstall any ULS laser source onto any ULS laser system. On other laser systems, the task of changing laser sources can be complicated and dangerous and can cause several days of downtime. Rapid Reconfiguration has a multitude of benefits:
Expands processing capability
Enhances flexibility and productivity
Protects and optimizes investment
Requires minimal downtime for service and repair
Safety and ease of use
Provides superior return on investment
ULS offers customers the ability to drastically improve resolution in laser marking and laser engraving applications, to directly mark onto some metals, and to increase the range of materials which can be cut with a CO2 laser system. This is accomplished through ULS patented HPDFO™ (High Power Density Focusing Optics) that focuses the laser’s energy into a much smaller area than is possible with standard lenses. This has applicability across many industries and gives several benefits to the customer:
Dramatically Increased Resolution
Unusually small features can be laser cut, engraved, or marked on a vast number of materials.
Higher Power Density
Allows the system to process materials which are typically only possible with much higher laser power.
ULS systems can be quickly reconfigured to use HPDFO or the standard combination of lenses to enable both high resolution and high throughput.
The smaller focal spot size produced by HPDFO results in smaller marks and cut widths on many materials. This allows the user to produce drastically higher resolutions and to achieve significantly tighter tolerances.
Raster marking applications also benefit from the small spot size of HPDFO. The graphical information contained in each raster line has less overlap and results in a higher effective resolution. This is particularly useful when creating highly-detailed graphics or markings which must be legible under magnification.
Higher Power Density
The smaller focal spot size produced by HPDFO concentrates all of the laser energy into a smaller diameter, dramatically increasing the power density at focus. This allows systems to mark directly onto materials such as steel and titanium. Without HPDFO direct marking would require specialty marking compounds, substantially more laser power, or lasers of a different wavelength, such as fiber lasers, which are typically much more expensive than their CO2 counterpart. By way of example, a 150 watt laser configuration using HPDFO would have the equivalent power density of a system using over 1,000 watts. With this patented option, the utility of CO2 laser systems is dramatically expanded, enabling a CO2 only system to effectively process many more materials than it would otherwise be capable of processing.
The focus spot size determines the resolution that can be obtained in laser cutting, engraving, and marking. HPDFO has a substantially smaller diameter than the standard complement of lenses allowing it to achieve the highest resolution processes. However, the standard lenses have their own purpose.
The longer focal length lenses produce a focused laser spot that has a larger diameter. This is useful in laser marking applications where high throughput and bulk material removal is more important than high resolution. The longer focal lengths are also more forgiving to variations in the flatness of materials since the focal range is much longer. This is useful when materials are not naturally flat, or when they become distorted due to laser-induced heating. Lastly, the longer focal length lenses can create a more uniform kerf width when laser cutting through thicker materials.