Control Micro Systems: Providing Cost-Effective Solutions for Laser-based applications

Control Micro Systems: Providing Cost-Effective Solutions for Laser-based applications

Tim Miller, President, Control Micro SystemsTim Miller, President
Laser welding has replaced conventional methods such as ultrasonic welding as a reliable and cost-effective solution to permanently bond polymer parts into a finished assembly. At Control Micro Systems (CMS) also known as CMS Laser, the primary goal is to develop a laser-based solution that meets the client’s manufacturing and production requirements. Founded in 1983 as an innovator in software controls development, CMS built its reputation by providing industry-leading solutions for laser-based applications. The company’s custom laser plastic welding systems provide economy, speed, accuracy, and repeatable welds for plastic production requirements.

The labs at CMS Laser possess the capability of incorporating over eight different laser wavelengths ranging from nano to femtosecond pulse durations and power levels from milliwatt to multi-kilowatts. The experts at CMS Laser help determine the best-suited laser and optics configuration in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When the client verifies the application of the laser, the firm’s validation experts oversee the review process of the laser. The application is reviewed in two ways—pre-process alignment and post-process validation. CMS Laser’s labs have a variety of technologies including vision systems, 3D microscopes, heat and stress analyzers, pyrometers, and code readers. These tools are used to examine alignment requirements and post-process validation of the application, after which, the automation group reviews the customer’s requirements for transporting the parts. This defines how the part enters and exits the laser system. The labs have vision integrated robots, multi-in-line conveyors, and sub-micron multi-axis motion systems. CMS Laser labs perform empirical automated process testing to ensure performance before the commencement of the build cycle.

To address the challenges of plastic extrusion lines, CMS Laser has pioneered ‘On the Fly’ laser processing systems (OTF) with vision system feedback.

Control Micro Systems’ custom laser plastic welding systems provide economy, speed, accuracy, and repeatable welds for plastic production requirements

This system is compatible with other production elements in the continuous processing flow. OTF requires the laser to perform its function when the product is in high-speed motion—enabling the parts to pass through the laser field without interruption. The system eliminates the acceleration, deceleration, and part movements that are associated with takt time. The OTF laser system provides an accurate placement and verification of the slit, ensuring that the slit geometry falls within limits. The processing speed is dependent on various factors and is capable of exceeding speeds of over 1,000 feet per minute. This has led to an exponential decrease in manufacturing time while also increasing the rate of production. A user-friendly programmed interface and production line communication provide easy setup for different process configurations to maintain a high level of productivity and customer satisfaction. These innovative features have helped CMS Lasergarner a vast client base that includes many Fortune 100 and 500 companies across various industries.

A major theme park collaborated with CMS Laser to develop and manufacture wrist bands. Each band is personalized with the customer’s name, laser marked on the inside and is used to allow visitors access to various park amenities using an embedded RFID tag. The specifications required CMS Laser to design pallets to hold ten bands spaced at a minimum of two inches to allow the RFIDs to be individually tested. The system was designed using palette conveyors and a co-linear vision system to recognize the image molded in the band and correct any offset in position before marking. Once marked, the vision system used optical character recognition (OCR) to verify the name with information retrieved from the network database. This helped the theme park to reduce production cost without compromising on efficiency.

CMS Laser’s focus is to help customers operate efficiently and optimize the investment that an organization spends toward laser technology. The firm is developing the future of plastic welding by utilizing its expertise in the space to analyze the disruptive trends and next-gen innovations.