There’s been a lack of micro laser welding mold repair services in the North American market, but Complete Machining Services, Inc. (CMS; Davisburg, MI) is now filling that void.
“Last year, we began receiving numerous requests for plastic injection mold repair services,” says President and CEO Jeff Dainty. “Beyond our MIG and TIG welders, this was a capability we did not have. It was obvious there was a lack of contract precision laser welding services in the area for plastic injection molds – which is surprising because the largest concentration of mold makers in North America resides in metropolitan Detroit, MI, and Windsor, ON, close to where we’re located.”
After researching various laser welding systems, CMS settled on an 8700-3 Series Universal Jig Welding Workstation from LaserStar Technologies Corporation (Riverside, RI), a microwelding laser system.
“When they talked to us about expanding their capabilities by adding laser welding for plastic injection mold repair and tool-and-die maintenance, we explained that they were going to need not just a laser welding machine, but a workstation that provided the flexibility to handle a wide variety of parts and materials,” says Gary Paresky, a regional sales manager for LaserStar. “That meant they needed at least 300 W capability that could weld aluminum, and that meant a fiber laser because YAG lasers are typically 200 W devices.
“We directed them to our 8700-3 Series fiber laser welding workstation for high-peak power, optimal performance and throughput for high up-time. The fiber laser source on the 8700-3 has a permanently sealed design that protects against dust and dirt that is sometimes an issue in a job shop environment. It doesn’t require adjustment, has no consumable parts and requires basically no maintenance. The fiber laser technology produces a sharp, focused light beam that consistently melts a very small area of metal. Very little heat is generated at the weld point, allowing users to easily laser weld greater than 0.25 mm from complex, heat sensitive intricate parts.”
To maximize flexibility, CMS added options to the workstation that included a tower gantry for ease of moving the laser next to the molds, a motorized work table, and a camera and monitor to aid in training operators. “Fortunately, we were able to find an operator with experience using LaserStar equipment, so we started putting work through the process right after the system was installed,” says Dainty. “We are now successfully producing mold repair work for a variety of customers on a weekly basis.”
Complete Machining Services, Inc., 10485 Enterprise Drive, Davisburg, MI 48350, 248-241-6086, www.completemachiningservices.com.
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