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Image logging and export formats in BeamGage are intended for use as easily created screenshots for reports and presentations. Alternatively there are real data formats for use in mathematical analysis, (e.g. HDF, ASCII csv). Matlab does have native support for HDF formatted data. If you saved and bgData files then you will have full fidelity HDF data files.

Here are two significant problems of attempting data recovery on image files:
First is data loss in the form of the palette. All of the palettes in...

Dick Rieley, Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon

When a laser malfunctions and diagnostics begin, why is test equipment the first to be questioned for its accuracy when it was the laser that failed first ?

Recently, I had a customer with a 3D system designed to produce 25mW. However as tested on our 30A thermal sensor, it measured 75mW’s! The customer called to complain that our sensor was not working. The sensor was calibrated, did not show any damage to the disc, but it was reading 300% high. “What was wrong with the Ophir test...

It isn’t always obvious when a NanoScan has a damaged slit. There’s no loud sound and often no obvious problem with the equipment or the results. Since the damage is often confined to a small location on the slit, a NanoScan with a damaged slit will sometimes still generate good results. The problem is, if the beam wanders onto a damaged area of a slit, the measurements are suddenly no longer valid. These changes can be subtle but still can cause erroneous conclusions.


The Partition feature, available in BeamGage Professional, allows subdividing the camera imager into separate regions, called partitions, and which can then compute separate beam results within each partition.
Figure 1 shows the beam profile of an industrial CO2 laser that did not operate as well as most lasers in a job shop. In this laser, a significant amount of the energy is far out in the wings of the beam. This particular laser was used to cut steel, and it was found that, with time, there were variations in the quality of the cut. Nevertheless, the manager had been
making acrylic mode burns, which appeared to be as...
A set of tools has become available in the past few years that allows end users of industrial lasers to optimize the laser process while complying with current ISO and AWS technical standards

Laser: 4KW factory new laser, 808nm Diode with lens supplying a 12.5mm X 1mm beam, Robotworx rebuilt Motoman 6 axis robot.
Process: Heat treating and thermal cladding of metal parts primarily for oil and chemical industries and extreme environments.
Tools: LBA-USB-SP620, 50mm CCTV lens, using internal aperture but not tightly closed (estimated at 50%), ND 8 (four ND2, Stackable C-mount filters), photographic camera tripod, table mounted, to place the camera near the target and...

Chuck Reagan, Southeast Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon Inc.

What happens when your company's new laser fails to perform according to specifications and your best customers are waiting weeks for delivery? Does the manufacturer send a field service engineer repeatedly to check for problems? What happens when the manufacturer cannot tell you what is wrong after they finally send their corporate, factory-level engineers to investigate? Do you demand a full refund if the laser still won't work properly and weeks are passing by? What if you spent a fortune in acquisition, setup, training and labor costs and you thought that you bought the best...

By Stan Thomas, University of Utah – Physics Department

The Telescope Array Project ( is an experiment to study ultra-high energy cosmic rays located near Delta, Utah. The cosmic rays are ultra-high energy particles that hit the upper atmosphere. The original particle creates a cascade of millions of daughter particles that eventually...

Dick Rieley, Sales Manager, Mid Atlantic Region, Ophir-Spiricon LLC

Solar technologies use the sun's energy to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry. Despite sunlight's significant potential for supplying energy, solar power provides less than 1% of U.S. energy needs. This percentage is expected to increase with the development of new and more efficient solar technologies.

The Green movement is encouraging the use of energy efficient technologies such as solar cells. This technology has been met...

By Todd Jacobson, Technical Consultant, Laser Maintenance Group, Corp.

If you have been in the laser cutting business long enough you eventually will have one of those days when, no matter what you do, the laser will not cut your parts cleanly…if at all. The operators and maintenance personnel check and verify all the usual problem areas and finally conclude that everything looks, measures, and appears correct.
Most checks and verifications are really...

John McCauley, Midwest Regional Sales Engineer, Ophir Photonics Group

This year we are celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the laser. Lasers have proven one of the most promising technologies, yet there is still farther to go. With the advancements come more complex and “focused” (no pun intended) laser applications. In some cases, especially with industrial laser processes, it’s getting to the point where the end user -- whether it be the process engineer, quality personnel, or maintenance technician -- must dedicate more and more time to studying laser technologies in order to truly understand the way lasers are being applied....

Many forces drive the miniaturization of optical component technology. Integration of optical components into smaller packages is expected to reduce size constraints, insertion loss, and manufacturing costs. Many ambitious business plans are based on this integrated technology, as it seems amiable to high volume manufacturing methods similar to those found in the semiconductor industry. However, there are numerous technical hurdles to overcome before this Holy Grail is attained...

One of the recent developments in the photonics industry has been the rapid increase in automated solar panel production facilities.1 Many of these end-to-end production lines use laser-based methods to manufacture the thin film silicon photovoltaic modules. The lasers used for this activity are generally diode-pumped solid-state lasers at 1064nm, 532nm and 355nm with beams focused to around 30μm.2 They are run at powers or energies3 that, although not extremely high, have high power or energy densities at these small beam diameters. The...

Aligning the output of laser diode or fiber optic arrays can be quite challenging. One of the lesser known features of the Photon NanoScan slit profilers is the multibeam analysis capability. The NanoScan software allows the characterization of up to 16 simultaneous beams entering the aperture, allowing the user to examine and evaluate various standard beam parameters displayed within the automatically-determined or user-defined regions-of-interest (ROI) on any or all beams captured by NanoScan. This unique control and selection feature...

Setup and location of the beam was relatively simple. The X and Y movements were used in conjunction with the 633nm target laser to center the beam on the camera chip. Once the beam was located and an approximate Z position was made using the target laser, the motorized Z stage was used to tweak in the image of the focused spot.

Included are two screenshots from a recent test using the ModeCheck device from Ophir-Spiricon.
The screens below show a comparison of a II-VI MP5 lens and Ophir Optics Black Magic lens.


Using ModeCheck ...

Laser Welding System

  • Nd:YAG Laser
  • 1064 nm
  • 300 mJ per pulse
  • 1.5 ms pulse duration
  • Dual pulse laser weld process, 0.2 secs separating each pulse
  • Beam size nominally 150-200 microns (2nd moment) at Focus
  • Beam focus approximately 45 mm from laser focusing lens

Spiricon Beam Profiler

  • BeamGage Professional
  • SP620U Camera
  • LBS-300-NIR with -50 mm focal length lens on the input
Results The...
Dick Rieley, Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region, Ophir-Spiricon Inc.

One of the facilities of a solar panel manufacturer processes approximately 1,000 panels per shift. Each panel is about 1.5ft x 4ft in size and generates 60W. Their production cost of $2.00 per panel is one of the lowest in the industry.

The production process employs both 532nm and 1064nm scribing lasers, mostly 30W systems. Each panel is scribed by both wavelengths through the process. Their design has each panel placed on a horizontal X-Y table, and run back and forth under a fixed steel yoke where there are a minimum...

High power is a fairly indistinct term that means different things in different contexts. High power laser beams are handled by using reflective materials, and the level of reflectivity is dependent on the wavelength of the laser light.
John McCauley Midwest Regional Sales Engineer, the Ophir Photonics Group

American author, engineer, entrepreneur, and consultant in performance improvement H. James Harrington has been credited as saying, “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it.”

Even though Harrington was speaking specifically of improving of the quality in a person’s work...

Dick Rieley. Sales Manager: Mid-Atlantic Region. Ophir-Spiricon LLC

The competitive nature of the manufacturing of solar cells is largely influenced by the zero defect approach of high speed automation. To this end, YAG lasers have been called upon to provide the precise laser scribing of the panels. Once the various layers of photovoltaic materials have been laminated to the glass, the laser is needed to scribe a series of channels that eventually become each of the individual voltage producing cells.

The quality, shape, size and intensity of the laser must be closely monitored and controlled for...

By Jeffrey L. Guttman, PhD, Director of Technology, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC

This application note is intended to provide guidance for the measurement of the divergence angles of custom optical fibers. This also applies to other divergent sources such as laser diodes or LEDs. Measurement of the divergence of such sources can be made using either the Goniometric Radiometer or...

Chuck Reagan, Sales Engineer, Ophir-Spiricon

Today’s aircraft are made of materials unknown to early aviation pioneers. These new materials require sophisticated inspection and repair procedures. Older inspection technologies are often incapable of testing and verifying the integrity of some composite structures. So aircraft operators, manufacturers, and government agencies have worked hard to find acceptable technologies to inspect the newer generation aircraft and ensure a level of safely for passengers and cargo flying in countries around the world.

Dan Ford Southwest Regional Sales Engineer, Ophir Photonics Group

In this application, our customer manufactures encoders that incorporate LED’s (light emitting diodes) that have a collimating lens attached. The LED’s produce between 850nm and 880nm at 2mW to 15mW, the beam sizes range from ¼” to ½”. Until now, a laser power meter has been used to verify the output wattage. Shining the beam on graph paper has been used to verify the beam size visually.

The application is to design a low cost inspection process that will...