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ES Technology will be a key exhibitor at this year’s Subcon event at the NEC in Birmingham.

The company is a manufacturer of bespoke laser-marking systems and is the sole UK and Ireland distributor for Concept Laser and its range of Lasercusing systems.

Selective laser melting, or Lasercusing, is a process that involves the fusion of a metallic powder by a scanning laser to produce complex and intricate 3D components.

The subsequent layer-by-layer construction of the part makes it possible to design and manufacture components that would otherwise be impossible or impractical to produce.

This process was initially pioneered for the mould tool manufacturing industry, however, other markets such as Formula 1, medical device, aerospace, automotive, die casting and academic institutions have also adopted the technique.

Lasercusing can be used to make a wide range of parts including final production components, inserts for injection moulding tools and inserts for pressure die casting.

ES Technology will have several examples of complex finished components, produced in materials such as steel, aluminium and titanium, which can be seen on stand MEM3 between 9-11 June 2009 at Subcon.

Concept Laser has structured its range of systems to make Lasercusing accessible.

The entry-level M1 system is aimed at die casters, tool makers, contract manufacturers and model makers.

Capable of producing complex 3D components in a range of hot work steels, inconel and stainless steel, the system has a work envelope of 250 x 250 x 250mm and uses a 200W fibre laser.

Laser processing takes place in an atmosphere controlled area within the machine and the system is capable of producing layer thicknesses of between 20u and 80u.

The M2 Lasercusing system produces parts in hot work steels, inconel, stainless steel, aluminium and titanium.

Unlike steel powders, aluminium and titanium alloys react with oxygen and therefore need to be stored and handled in a controlled atmosphere.

The M2 system provides nitrogen or argon-based inert atmospheres together with a series of sensors and measurement systems that meet all current explosion and fire protection regulations.

These features ensure safe and controlled operation at all times even when running unattended during overnight production.

The modular configuration offered by Concept Laser’s M3 Linear system provides the user with three different technologies within a single machine.

The M3 Linear does not operate using only galvo scanning optics, instead, beam deflection is controlled via a combination of galvo mirrors and linear direct drives.

This guarantees accuracy in the manufacturing process, which remains constant over the large build envelope.

The exposure strategy ensures that heat is applied in a random pattern over larger exposure areas in a ‘chequers-board’ style.

This laser processing concept makes it possible to produce solid and large-volume components with minimal internal stresses.

Concept Laser offers the choice of a 100W diode-pumped solid-state laser (cw + pulsed), or 100W/200W fibre lasers (cw) within the M3 Linear system.

A maximum scanning speed of 7m/s can be achieved and the system has a focal diameter of 70-200 micron.

For Lasercusing operations the system has a build envelope of 300 X 350 X 300mm and can produce layers of between 20 micron and 80 micron.

Positioning resolution of the linear motors used in this system is 15 micron.

The M3 Linear has all of the benefits of the Lasercusing process but also provides the flexibility to perform additional laser erosion and marking processes.

ES Technology Ltd is an Oxford company with a 22 year history of manufacturing laser-based manufacturing equipment and providing a range of associated services and products. Our four business units are. Design and build of special purpose laser systems. We use a range of industrial lasers to provide customers with turnkey machines for laser marking, cutting and welding.Systems incorporate handling such as robot, conveyor or bowl-feed; motion and control elements such as XY/rotary tables and of course the appropriate laser and beam delivery for the job.Control is via PC/PLC and dedicated front-end software provides the human interface and integrates barcode readers, vision, etc as required. Laser jobshop.We use 10 laser systems to provide laser marking on a subcontract basis on plastic, metal, ceramic or wood.Products and components receive logos, serial numbers, barcodes and other functional marks.We also perform fine metal cutting and microperforating services. Distribution of rapid prototyping/rapid manufacturing systems.ES is the exclusive UK distributor of Concept Laser LaserCUSING systems which make parts in titanium, aluminium, stainless or tool steel and inconel directly from 3D CAD designs by additive layer build. Optical components.Laser diodes, safety eyewear and acousto-optic components/wafers are distributed.

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